Re: Boring Discussions

Subject: Re: Boring Discussions
From: Megan Shult <Megan_Shult -at- HYSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 1995 12:25:28 -0500

On 12/11/95, Willard Brooks wrote:

>I am wondering if this boredom does not
>reflect the field of TW itself. <snip> 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.

> <snip> 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?

Surely I can't be the only tech writer in existence who *doesn't* find this
profession tedious? <:) All the responses I've read so far seem to basically
say yes, it's dull, and you just deal with it.

I think variety plays a big factor in how being a tech writer 'feels'. In
my job, I do everything from running design sessions and designing
user interface to writing programming specifications, manuals, and
online help. It's so varied that I hardly ever have a chance to get
bored. And the one thing that makes it bearable when tedium does
occasionally begin to set in is that the software development cycle
moves at its own breakneck speed, with distinct phases. Just when
I get to the point where I think I'm going to die if I have to sit through
another product design meeting, design ends and chapter-writing begins.
When I'm entirely tired of working on the books, it's time to build help.
When that gets old, it's time to start design for the next product or

It's somewhat stressful, especially after two or three rotations of this
(I'm now on my fourth; most of these cycles last about a year). There's
a lot of pressure in this industry. But it's also fun. Personally, I love
this field. It's interesting, it's highly challenging, it's creative (although
I'm sure people would argue with me on this one), and it's fast-paced.
Maybe this is unfashionable of me. I don't know. :)

This may all be somewhat unique to the software field. But I really
hope there are other people out there who love what they're doing

- Megan Shult
Hyperion Software

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