those who did and didn't set out to be a tech writer

Subject: those who did and didn't set out to be a tech writer
From: "Yolonda S. Sanchez" <yss -at- WEBCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 1996 12:26:45 -0500

> By the way, since I got into this conversation by
> accident: *I* for one set out to be a technical writer.
> I did it during high school and college as a part time
> job, and got a full-time tech writing position when I
> graduated from collete. Aside from a brief sabbatical
> when I got my Master's in Linguistics, I've been at it
> ever since. Am I the only one?

> -Rebecca

no, rebecca, you are not the only one... i set out to write in every field and
every genre (except porn,etc).

the first published piece was in the local newspaper, and i was in the fourth
grade. i have written for newspapers ever since. i do it as a "stringer" that
means i'm a semi-regular contributer/reporter... and i have covered every

of all the industries i have written for, tech writing has paid me at a much
higher rate...

also learned: the awards don't mean much to the people hiring for any field,
unless it's the nobel or pulitzer... i won first place in the editorial cover
story for weekly time-mirror papers last year... i didn't even know they
submitted my cover story...and they still only pay me $800 a story. it was
about the women who did the work and "held down the fort" during ww2. and it
was a lot of work; a lot of research, a lot of interviewing... i have almost 20
hours of recorded interviews..

neither to the organization memberships. which seem odd... of course there are
some to whom stc means something. but i have been surprised by the number of
hiring managers who scoffed at that... that's one organization i felt had

but now, ive changed arenas again... it's always an adventure... to me, it's
always a game... it's to have fun, because life is already too hard... there
are already too many people shooting each other... i just want to have fun and
pull someone along with me,

i'll be hiring again, and i'll be looking for that kind of quality... it always
served me well in all the interviews i went through... i could make them laugh,
and they always ended the interview loving me... i guess because i've written
in so many fields, (so many interviews, so much research) i'm a bit ot a
"peri-pundit" i made up the word... i know a lot of stuff, so i have always
had a referent with the interviewer.

i'm not saying if you didn't do it my way you're lost. i'm am saying that you
all should have more fun... you should be childish more often... life is hard,
painful, surprising, mysterious - - - don't take everything so serious... when
you combine a playful attitude/approach, and laugh a lot, everything works
better, and you are happier and so are your coworkers...

i have earned the right to give this advice... i lived in hell for a long
time... i paid astronomical dues... i read your letters and i see your persona,
and i see places you could let go of, opportunities you should stretch for...
it's all very precious to me... best advice you'll ever hear: it really and
truly is never too late to have a happy childhood... i am having mine now...
and i am so good to myself, and i treat myself with the highest respect, and so
do those around me. because i also treat them with dignity... i never dig back,
snap back, hate back.... i just want to be 8 or 10 maybe 12, a different one on
each day... and the coo and ceo stop in my office every day...

you guys are all so good at what you do, i can see it in your care and
consideration for your work... i can often see it in the way you talk to each
other... i just walk into a place, and i say, this is who i am. what you see
and hear from me, is what you get...

(thar sh'blows agin, sh'doin tha' homilly thang agin...)

make life and work a game...


Yolonda S. Sanchez
Information Design Services
yss -at- webcom -dot- com

"Surprised by joy--impatient as the wind."

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