FW: Should my ego be squashed?

Subject: FW: Should my ego be squashed?
From: Emru Townsend <etownsen -at- Softimage -dot- com>
To: "'techwrl'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 8 Oct 1999 11:28:50 -0400


Just do it. Part of your job as a technical writer is to know your tools
(Word, WordPerfect, Acrobat, FrameMaker, whatever) better than anybody else
in the company. That guarantees that you're going to spend some time
converting files from one format to another at some point, but that's just
life. Every job has its menial chores.

I would suggest making a case to your employers for editing the manuals for
clarity, but otherwise leaving them as-is. You can only do so much with old
documentation (which is why I would skip making them more user-friendly),
but editing them for clarity forces you to read them, which in turn gives
you a clear perspective on where your company's current products come from.
Besides, it shows some initiative, and that's rarely a bad thing.

But, I reiterate: not every aspect of our job is exciting or educational.
We always run into tasks that are, bluntly, boring and mechanical. This is
a fact of life, and you can't avoid it in any job. Just find a way to deal
with it. Personally, I schedule the tedious tasks for Friday afternoons,
Monday mornings, rainy lunch hours; essentially, those times when my brain
doesn't really want to work at full power.

Oh, and finally: wanting to look good is rarely a good motive for anything.
Just put in the effort and do your best.

Emru Townsend, Information Developer of the New Millennium
Softimage, Inc.
etownsen -at- softimage -dot- com
Under construction: http://purpleplanetmedia.com
Recent musings: http://www.montreal.com/tech/1999/09/06enslave.html

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