Re: Creativity in Technical Communications

Subject: Re: Creativity in Technical Communications
From: "Huber, Mike" <mrhuber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 1997 09:35:57 -0600

Most of the tech writers I know do some personal writing, so I guess it is
probably common, although the sample size is too small to be sure.

Before I began writing technical documents, I wrote very little creative
stuff, and what little I did write was pretty bad. The serious work has
given me both skill and the knowledge that I have the skill. I mean, if I
can document a piece of software, why not an imaginary world and some
imaginary people doing things? Most of the skills involved are rather
similar. I still have big problems with dialog, though.

Spending a whole day writing (I wish - there is so much other stuff
involved in this job that a whole day of actually getting down to writing
is almost a vacation) tends to use up all the words in my head, so I
suppose the job inhibits the "creative" stuff. My current effort towards
minimizing documentation sometimes kills my stories - by the time I take
out everything that's not necessary in a story, there is sometimes nothing
left at all.

Something I noticed recently while cleaning out my email files:
When I'm writing for fun in the evenings, the quality of my professional
writing goes way up. The email looked like two different people wrote it,
and one of them was a writer.

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris Hargens [SMTP:ldmr -at- CRUZIO -dot- COM]
Sent: Saturday, March 29, 1997 11:59 AM
Subject: Re: Creativity in Technical Communications

Your post suggests some questions: Is it common for technical
writers to write "creative" work--fiction, poetry, personal essays, and so
on? Can the practice of technical writing--here I mean something like
hours a day five days a week--inhibit "creative" writing? More
specifically, does the technical writer who aspires to write fiction,
say, find herself at the end of an eight hour day just too enmeshed in the
protocols of techical writing to think fiction? Or just too (verbally)

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