Get a haircut, and get a real job...

Subject: Get a haircut, and get a real job...
From: Steve Fouts <sfouts -at- ELLISON -dot- SC -dot- TI -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Jun 1994 09:04:17 CDT

Arlen Walker, responding to Pam Tatge:

|} >This is the type of issue where the comfort of writers should
|} >take a back seat to the needs of readers.

[snip, snip]

|} If a given writer is not comfortable
|} with a writing style imposed from without, there are three options:
|} A) Write it in that style anyway, and end up doing it badly because you
|} just can't get into the flow of the document.
|} B) Write it the best way you know how, and be prepared to justify your
|} choices (and suffer for them, possibly leading to C).
|} C) Find another job.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the implications behind Arlens three choices, but,
as a professional writer, if there is a writing style guideline, I will
follow it. I will do the best, most professional job that I am capable of
within those constraints. I am no shrinking violet, and if the guidelines
fly in the face of all reason, you can bet I'll put together a pretty good
argument against them, but on the off chance that the powers above me don't
kowtow to my obviously superior intellect, then I'll write the way they
want me to write.

If I wanted a job that allowed me to write only what _I_ wanted to write,
the way _I_ wanted to write it, I'd be a starving fiction writer with a day
job at Mickey D's.

On the other hand, if you are the kind of free spirit that must have
creative and stylistic freedom over your technical documents, then you
owe it to both yourself and your employer to establish that up front so
you don't find yourself in a situation where quitting is your only

_______________ _____
/ ___ __/__\ \ / / _\ Steve Fouts
/___ \| | ___\ | / __\ sfouts -at- ellison -dot- sc -dot- ti -dot- com
/ / \ | \ / \
/_______/__|_______\_/________\ "The multitude of books is making us ignorant"

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