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I've read everyone else's replies to your post, so I won't go into my own
blues story. I will, however, suggest some ways to break out of the blues
First, as everyone else has suggested, take stock in your current
situation. Do the old plus/minus list of your status. This
kind of works as a 'count your blessings' exercise and can help you
pinpoint those exact areas that you are blue about as well as those that
still excite you.
Next, look at those minus points and see if there's a thread. Then use
that thread as an indicator for your next move. For
example, if most of the minuses focus on boredom and lack of challenge.
then it may be time for you to learn some new skills. Perhaps go back to
school, as you mentioned, or investigate some software products that might
beef up your skill set.
Management may well be your next step, but it is not necessarily the only
next step. If you think of yourself as a good team leader, want to serve
as a mentor to less experienced writers, and can develop a vision for
creating a great documentation department, then yes, consider management.
But keep in mind that managing will mean less writing for you.
Another activity you might want to consider is teaching. See if you can
get a teaching gig at a community college, or offer some tech
writing seminars on your own time.
One last idea: think about writing about your work. Review past STC
publications and try to identify an area in which you think you have some
expertise. Then submit some article ideas to various publications. You
will find renewed pride in your work, and if you are invited to present a
paper, that will certainly break you out of the potato mode. There's
nothing more energizing than having hundreds of your peers waiting to hear
you speak. (If you've done this already, do it again!) Also, if you are
not very involved in your local STC chapter, putting in a little more
effort may pay off in some rewards and recognition you don't expect. It
sounds like you have a lot of experience to share with others; why not get
out and do just that.
I hope some of these ideas help you out. Good luck.
Kathryn J Acciari
Buffalo, New York
acciari -at- acsu -dot- buffalo -dot- edu
On Thu, 17 Sep 1998, Matt Danda wrote:
> I've been struck by a case of mid-level tech writing blues, and I am
> wondering if any other writers feel the same--or at least are asking
> the same questions about their career direction.