Re: Should my ego be squashed?

Subject: Re: Should my ego be squashed?
From: "Kathi Jan Knill" <Kathi -dot- Knill -at- template -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 8 Oct 1999 11:56:56 -0400

Genevieve, As some have already said, I think this time you are going to
have to bite the bullet and do the work.

Since you are a recent college grad, it may seem like this kind of work
will do nothing for your writing skills, but in fact it will increase your
skills as a tech writer. Why? Because you will become extremely familiar
with one of the tools of our business, Word. No matter what people's gripes
are, Word does exist and some companies use it. That's all there is too it.

In addition, you need to do it because this kind of work is often a part of
our job. I've worked in this business for almost 10 years and believe me,
I've done my share of "skutt" work. And, even now, with all this experience
behind me, I am asked to convert books from one format to another. Is it
fun? No. Is it boring? Yes. (So put on some headphones with your favorite
music and it will help you "bee-bop" on through the tediousness of the
assignment.) I can pretty much guarantee that if you quit and went to work
somewhere else, sooner or later you would be asked to do some equally
menial task. So, you might as well suck it up now. (don't mean to be harsh

There is nothing in a job description of a technical writer that says we
will always be writing original books/manuals. Sometimes we will be doing
just editing. Sometimes we will be doing reformatting. It is all part of
the job. Some parts are certainly more exciting and interesting than
others, but neither is more important than the other. Think of it this way:
by converting those docs, you are making the information accessible for
the client(s). Isn't that what writing tech doc is about...passing the
information to the end user?

So you see, it isn't always fun. But then, what in life is? Good luck.

Kathi Jan Knill
Sr. Technical Writer
Template Software, Inc.
Kathi -dot- Knill -at- Template -dot- com
The art of writing is the art of applying
the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.

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