Re: I am Tech Writer

Subject: Re: I am Tech Writer
From: Lisa Higgins <lisa -at- DRDDO1 -dot- EI -dot- LUCENT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 1997 10:12:24 +0000

> Hi,
> I've long found STC's presumption that we should all want to be
> called "technical communicators" distasteful. Of course, this is not
> important at all in relation to the valuable information I get from
> this mailing list and from the STC.
> But I just had to throw this in the ring: Ever since I learned how to
> write I've been writing, and wanted to "be a writer" when I grew up.
> Now that I've actually got a job that has Writer in its title, I'm
> gonna keep it, by god!
> When I need to abbreviate the job title, I still call other tech
> writers TWs. Sounds funny to hear some of you refer to us as TCs.
> Whatever -- to each his own.

I don't necessarily care for the sound of "technical communicator,"
either, but I like to keep my job description flexible. The more
vague I can make my title, the freer I am to do what I think needs to
be done.

Over the past ten years or thereabouts, this has included designing
labels, logos, and marketing materials; laying out and formatting
everything from white papers to point-of-sale material; maintaining
mailing lists, web sites, and doing various and sundry other system
admin tasks; developing tools and scripts to do anything so
repetitive and boring that a machine could do it; training in stuff I
knew enough to train people in; testing software; and probably a
bunch of other stuff I've forgotten. Oh, yeah, and I write junk, too.

Note that I'm not saying that everyone should approach their job the
way I approach mine. I'm just saying that there is something behind
the various weird and evasive job titles that some of us have. I
don't want to be called a technical writer, because that would seem
to exclude a large part of what I do.

Lisa.
lhiggins -at- lucent -dot- com

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