Re: How fast do I need to be able to write?

Subject: Re: How fast do I need to be able to write?
From: Linnea Dodson <tscribe -at- HOTMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 1 Dec 1998 10:02:08 PST

>I don't think there is an employer of technical writers who believes in
>concept of "writer's block." I think there are periods of greater and
>productivity, [snip]

I agree. I'll even argue that writer's block barely exists in technical
writing, because we aren't searching for the perfect metaphor or evoking
the proper emotion, we're usually describing concrete things: What
should the user see on the screen? What information is typed into which
field? What do you need to do before you can do this step? What does
this machine do? What does this machine not do?

Whever I end up staring blankly at the screen, I remind myself "what
question am I answering?" and the words come pretty quickly. They're
not always the RIGHT words, or even very good ones the first time
through, but they're there just the same, and can always be cleaned up

To specifically answer the question of "how fast" - take whatever number
of pages you can do in a day, and reduce it by an hour's work to take
care of the incidentals of life, such as getting coffee, checking email,
and rebooting Windows. That should give you a good rough number of
pages per day, with room for exceeding the projected work, and a little
room for things taking longer than expected.


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