Re: How can I be a technical writer?

Subject: Re: How can I be a technical writer?
From: Lisa Comeau <lmcomeau -at- HOTMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 13:19:49 PDT

At the high risk of flaming someone's long johns and/or my own, I just
HAD to respond. Maybe I am being a little defensive, but as a "Have-
to-beeee", I feel a kind of kinship...

Randal wrote
<SNIP>
I think that this concept of becoming a technical writer without a
knowledge base is an invention of the 90s and a very tight job market
for "decent" jobs....
You will find that most ask for engineers and phycisists who can write,
NOT writers who want to pretend that they know something technical...
<SNIP>
It appears to me that he has already decided that a technical writer has
to know everything about both technical fields AND writing, and maybe in
a perfect world that would be true, but it is NOT a product of the 90s
tight job market, it is a product of the ever-growing need for people in
a field that was never as well-known or respected before.

I happen to have an English degree, a fact I am proud of. I ALSO have an
Information Technology Specialist degree (which is just a simple way of
saying I can build, fix, program and use computers, and learn new stuff
when I have to). But these 2 qualifications do NOTmake me a technical
writer, no matter what someone else thinks. So as a result, I decided to
subscribe to this list to learn more about the field, since part of my
job description says I have to write courseware for in -house- software
packages (most of which I know how to use.)
Just because I know the software, and the english language, and the
technical jargon doesn't mean I am a GOOD technical writer. I have never
said that I was, I am just as apt to point out my failings, but lack of
respect for other people is NOT one of them.

<SNIP>
This deception makes me sick to my stomach. I'm out of here, and on to
what I hope will be a more honest form of earning a living. Will the
owner of this list please do whatever is necessary to cancel my account.
I don't know how!
<SNIP>
So go ahead and be sick Randal, under normal circumstances I would be
happy to cook you some chicken soup, but I hear that's good for the
soul, and you obviously don't have one. (And that English degree
certianly didn't teach you how to read, or you could unsubscribe on your
own.)

L.M. Comeau
IS Super-User/Trainer
Canadian Standards Association
178 Rexdale Blvd., Etobicoke, ON
comeaul -at- csa -dot- ca


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