Re: Lone Tech Writers Unite - it's lonely out here {Was: HELP TW --> management...]

Subject: Re: Lone Tech Writers Unite - it's lonely out here {Was: HELP TW --> management...]
From: Tom Johnson <johnsont -at- FREEWAY -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 08:53:54 -0400

Hi Jack,

I'll speak as one who, I believe, coined the term, Lone Tech Writer. I'll
concede the title if someone else wants to claim it. Certainly I'm not the
first one to work alone, but my post to this list a couple years ago was
the first time I had seen or heard the term. Now we even have a STC Lone
Tech Writer SIG listserv (stclwrsig-l or something like that).

As a lone technical writer for the past five years, I have found this list
invaluable. It keeps me sane and in touch with other writers. Chapter STC
meetings are good places to network. I don't get to many because they are
at least a 3 hour trip (one way).

Having the mandate of make it happen is a good start. If management is
really going to empower you to do your job you should make sure you have
the tools you need. Second, make sure management will back your authority
when you make decisions. I would guess someone has been doing the writing
up to this point and they might not like sweeping changes. I had to go t
hrough that when I took over here. The engineers worked hard to put some of
the material together and they didn't like me messing with it. They thought
their way was better. Well, what can I say. Complaints about the manuals
have dropped to almost zero.

Take a class on project management. You might not apply everything you
learn, but you will see areas where you can improve.

Hopefully, you will be able to incorporate some kind of review process.
You'll be making yourself vulnerable to warranted and unwarranted
criticism, but you'll develop some good relationships in the process. It
the long-run it will make your job easier and your manuals will be better.

That's about all I have to say for now.

Tom Johnson
Traverse City, MI. Where the air and water are clean, but it gets really
cold in the winter.

business johnsont -at- starcutter -dot- com
personal thomasj -at- freeway -dot- net

On Friday, September 25, 1998 12:50 AM, Jack Bybee
[SMTP:editor -at- viconet -dot- com] wrote:
> Calling all lone technical writers - or any document project manager:
> I would truly appreciate hearing from you regarding managing projects,
> the pitfalls and more.
> Looking back, what would you do now, that you didn't do when you were
> first told "You're it. Make it happen."?
> And I mean, *any advice welcome*. I'll summarize and post.
> Thanks,
> Jack Bybee

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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