Re: How much has tech writing increased?

Subject: Re: How much has tech writing increased?
From: Rose Wilcox <RWILC -at- FAST -dot- DOT -dot- STATE -dot- AZ -dot- US>
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 10:32:00 PST

In response to:
>>Prestige rating is "Average." Stress and strain rating is "Low."
Nancy Lynn Hayes wrote:
>I'd laugh myself silly if this wasn't so pitiful. I'd love to know who
>they interviewed (and what drugs the interviewees were on)! I remember
>my tech writing instructor in college telling me that tech writing is an
>extremely high stress job. In the eight years I've been a tech writer
>and the two years I've been an editor, I'd say the S&S rating is
>somewhere between "High" and "Hopeless". Not that I don't normally enjoy
>my work--it's just if this is low stress, I'd hate to see "high" stress.

Dear Nancy:
I guess you shouldn't try going into a really high stress profession such as
health professional, fire fighter, police work, or teaching junior high
school in the inner city. I'm not saying that the stress level is low in
tech writing, but it may be more medium. We do have to contend with
deadlines (sometimes unreasonable), equipment failures, uncooperative SMEs,
and lack of information, *sometimes*. But we are rarely in physical danger,
nor do lives weigh in the balance if we flub up.

If you feel "hopeless", at least you can ask yourself the question, "In 100
years will anyone remember if this manual didn't get out on time?" In most
cases, the answer is no. I'm not advocating "not trying", but I am
suggesting "take a deep breath". Get some perspective, and your tasks will
become, if not easier, at least more bearable.

But you've been writing for years, so you probably already know that!

Ta-ta for now!

Rose A. Wilcox (the A stands for Acceptance)
rwilc -at- fast -dot- dot -dot- state -dot- az -dot- us (until the end of Feb.)
ncrowe -at- primenet -dot- com (home address)

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