Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers

Subject: Re: Non-technical, Technical Writers
From: "Pilipovich, Kathleen" <Kathleen -dot- Pilipovich-1 -at- KMAIL -dot- KSC -dot- NASA -dot- GOV>
Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 11:43:37 -0400

I agree with Candace when she said that the essential
skills are an ability to research and analyze a topic
and then present it.
I have a technical background from previous jobs, which
is helpful when learning the subject that I'm writing about.
But I also see advantages to having a little distance from
the technical side. I can distance myself enough to write
from a user's perspective, which is what we're all about.
In my current position, I receive drafts from SMEs and
also create documents from scratch. I work with SMEs
who take offense to any one changing their writing. I'm
sure lots of you have been through that. But that's
usually my selling point to them when they come
complaining to me.
I tell the SMEs that I have enough distance from the
subject so I can write objectively. If I changed the content
of your writing, that means I didn't understand what you
were trying to say. And if I don't understand, your users
surely won't.
I found in most cases that usually helps the SMEs
understand where I'm coming from. For those that don't,
oh well. We all have to deal with them sometimes.

Kathy Pilipovich
United Space Alliance
Kathleen -dot- Pilipovich-1 -at- ksc -dot- nasa -dot- gov

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