Re: technical writer

Subject: Re: technical writer
From: Jim Cort <jcort -at- totaltel -dot- com>
To: "'techwrites'" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1999 12:50:18 -0400


I'm kind of surprised to see this thread wriggling around again. I had
thought the assembled whirlers had pretty much beat it to death.

Let me start out by saying if you want to call yourself an information
developer, be my guest. I'm speaking for myself here, and myself alone.

I'm a writer. Sometimes I write fiction; sometimes I write articles.
Sometimes I write plays or poetry. Sometimes I write training materials or
user guides, or manuals. There's a difference in styles and techniques
here, but it's all writing, and I'm a writer. It's an honorable profession.


I don't want to be called an information developer or a technical
communicator or a documentation specialist, or anything else like that.
These titles, to my ears, sound imprecise and pretentious: they sound like
bad writing. They sound like they come from people who don't understand
what a writer does, people who believe that that simple term might exclude
thinking or organizing or analyzing or clarifying. It doesn't: all those
things and more are what a writer does, what writers have always done.

I understand that no matter how nifty anyone's new software might be, the
documentation it needs relies on the skills of a profession hundreds of
years old. That's my profession: I'm a writer. Do I know Word? Sure. Do I
know HTML? You bet. Can I do help files? Yup. Do I know this tool, or that
tool, or the other tool? Yes, but they're just incidentals. I know how to
put the best possible words together in the best possible way, and I'm damn
good at it.

I'm a writer, and I never want to be anything else.

Jim Cort
Technical Writer
TotalTel
Jcort -at- total -dot- com <mailto:Jcort -at- total -dot- com>





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