FWD: What constitutes a senior tech writer and how to get there?

Subject: FWD: What constitutes a senior tech writer and how to get there?
From: Anonymous Poster <anonfwd -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 10:07:41 -0600

ANON>> Brief background: Two writers in a group, each with 7-8 years of experience,
ANON>> plus tech writing degrees. Three years ago, a third writer is asked to join
ANON>> the group, but has no experience, no education, no training. Spends the
ANON>> first year with virtually no projects, and nothing to do beyond proofreading
ANON>> projects for the other writers. Second year, third writer is given a few
ANON>> simple projects, which are completed to the best of the writer's limited
ANON>> capabilities. At review time, writer is soundly criticized for doing a
ANON>> "lousy" job with the projects. Group manager says he will spend more time
ANON>> "training" new writer, but ends up being "too busy" to help beyond taking
ANON>> the red pen to the new writer's work. Third year, new writer is given a few
ANON>> projects to do from scratch, which seem to be going ok. At review time,
ANON>> writer is again criticized for not developing the skills and technical
ANON>> expertise needed to be considered a senior writer.
ANON>> The question is this: what kind of skills and experience does one need to be
ANON>> considered a senior writer? What kind of training, seminars, books, would
ANON>> help? Is experience the best teacher? How can one learn new things if one is
ANON>> not assigned projects that make one grow?
ANON>> Any opinions, facts, and advice are welcome.

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