Re: STC vs. NWU

Subject: Re: STC vs. NWU
From: Bonni Graham <bonnig -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 1994 12:54:40 EST

What Carl said goes for me too.

At $0.23 cents a day, STC membership is not really a financial burden -- I
spend a LOT more than that on coffee. Even if all I ever got out of it was
Technical Communication, Intercom, and my local chapter newsletter, it's
worth that (and before anyone asks, I pay for this out of my own little
contractor's pocket -- I've never had a company pay my membership). STC is
more than that, though.

When I was a Lone Writer, with all of six month's job experience before they
fired my supervisor, STC kept me from quitting. I learned things like the
fact that I wasn't alone with my problems. For example, it wasn't that I was
incompetent at convincing my employer that my job was important -- EVERYBODY
had that problem.

STC has given me a chance to develop management skills that I would not have
been able to do in the workplace for at least three to five more years. The
STC publications and conferences have taught me everything I currently know
about how to perform the jobs required by my profession. AND, it's taught me
to be proud of what I do.

I might have come to all of these things on my own, but I certainly wouldn't
have acheived them as fast.

I think comparing STC and NWU is really, to paraphrase a cliche, comparing
apples to pears. I won't go as far as oranges, because the two groups are
not THAT far apart. NWU, for example, has a lot of advantages, but it's
missing one crucial factor -- an assemblage of people, conveniently grouped
together in one chapter/organization, who do EXACTLY the kinds of things I do
and who, by and large, speak exactly the same language I do. A lot of
writers I've met through NWU and similar organzations (by that I mean general
writer's groups) still write in PEN on legal pads and sneer at the "nerds"
who write on computers. When my professional standing depends on having the
most up-to-date technical knowledge (not to mention actually owning and using
the equipment), I need to be around others in the same boat.

As far as NWU health plan goes, STC also offers access to a group health
plan, through Mutual of Omaha. I'm currently using it for my disability
insurance, as well. I'm thinking about subscribing to the health plan when
my severance package runs out, although shortly I'll simply be able to use my

They're two very different organizations, with two very different goals.

Bonni Graham
Technical Writer
President, San Diego STC
BonniG -at- aol -dot- com

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