Re: novelist wannabes

Subject: Re: novelist wannabes
From: Mitch Berg <mberg -at- IS -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 1997 12:03:30 -0600

I had to respond to this:

----------
> From: Doreen Mannion <DoreenM520 -at- AOL -dot- COM>

> Hiring managers tend to hire based on past experience, both good and bad.
> I've found that the techwriters I've had contact with who "really" wanted
to
> be novelists are far too vested in their words to be good techwriters.

All things being equal, I think I agree with this. Sort of. I've seen
both extremes.

> I therefore avoid hiring techwriters, all other things being equal, who
want to
> be novelists. I tend to avoid hiring English majors for the same reason.

I've found that people coming to the field with degrees in English,
Journalism or any Humanities area tend to be better at thinking out of the
box. Toss one of these people a curve ball ("Learn Robohelp. By
tomorrow"), and, in my experience, they tend to be more able to respond
creatively and effectively than many people with more focused backgrounds.
Your mileage may vary, of course.

They (we, actually) may be too mentally restless for a 20-year hitch of the
same task - but mental mobility counts.

Yes, I'm prejeudiced - my degree was English, and I'm also a writer
(military history, not fiction) and a former reporter. But I think I've
developed some objectivity in these matters as well...

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