Re: Boring Discussions

Subject: Re: Boring Discussions
From: "Hofer, Theresa M PL" <HoferTM -at- PO4 -dot- PL -dot- UNISYS -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 1995 09:18:00 GMT

On Monday, December 11, Willard Brooks wrote:

I am a recent new subscriber to this list and am also wondering a bit
about the boredem factor (mein angstliches Gefuehl ist, dass die
Langweiligkeit dieses Listes die Verklichkeit von technischen Schreiben
spiegelt). That is, as a soon to be new graduate who is looking into TW
as a possible career option, I am wondering if this boredom does not
reflect the field of TW itself. Please do not be offended by this
statement, but I myslef do find disscussions of grammar and acronym
capitalization somewhat less than rapturous. More, I have not recieved the
epiffany experience I had perhaps unrealistically hoped for telling me
that TW was going to be my lifes work and something that I MUST do.
Again, and I am trying to be honest with myself and the list, I get
a sense of an underlying hope in the disscussions here that people are
desparate to talk about SOMETHING interesting. Is this because tech writers
are living lives of silent desparation or am I, as a neophyte and potential
practitioner, just missing the point and the collective fires burning out
there in the souls of the worlds tech-pubers?

I really want to fall in love with the idea of becoming a technical
writer, could somebody please help convince me that the above impressions
are wrong?

With heartfelt if not brutal honesty,
Willard Brooks

To be honest, Willard, I've always felt that a high tolerance for tedium is
a useful character trait for a tech writer. This does not, however, mean
that the _people_ are boring. I suspect that there is the same percentage
of boring people in TW as in many other professions.

A key unspoken issue here, I think, is, should you take your identity in
your job? My answer is a resounding "NO!" I believe that your identity
should be rooted in something more stable and lasting than the often chaotic
business environment. (For me, that foundation is my relationship with
Jesus Christ.) If your identity is rooted in your job, then you'll go
through an identity crisis with every critique, every lost bid, every
layoff. If your identity is rooted in something more stable, then you can
weather all that.

Of course, you shouldn't torture yourself. If you don't have a high
tolerance for tedium; if _everything_ in this discussion group is just
boring you tears; then maybe you should start looking for other careers
where you can apply the same skills. And remember -- you'll probably change
careers -- not jobs, careers -- two or three times in the course of a 40+
year work life.

Theresa Hofer
TMHofer -at- po4 -dot- pl -dot- unisys -dot- com
Unisys Corporation
41100 Plymouth Road
Plymouth, MI 48170
My views are mine, not my employer's

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