RE: Farewell to List (etc.)

Subject: RE: Farewell to List (etc.)
From: "Murrell, Thomas" <TMurrell -at- alldata -dot- net>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 15:55:08 -0500

My first reaction upon reading Michael J. Wing's post was to trash it
without comment. But I decided that wouldn't be fair, to me if to no one
else. There were some interesting tidbits in it, and even the criticism was
worth considering.

I find it interesting that Michael persevered with this list for five years
when he found it so full of useless information. I will concede that some
threads leave me cold--though they aren't always the same threads Michael
mentioned. And some posters invariably hook me to read what they have to
say, even about a thread I have discarded as uninteresting to me, while
other posters leave me cold.

What I find interesting about Techwr-l is the panorama it provides on this
wide-ranging field called Technical Writing. Some people here are doing
really interesting things and have really interesting problems. Others are
doing things I find very uninteresting and have problems that I feel would
be resolved if they would RTFM for whatever product they are using.

Unlike Michael, I have no intention of leaving Technical Writing for some
more "front line" activity. In terms of making the products developed by
engineers and programmers useable, hence marketable, hence revenue
producing, I find what I do both satisfying and fulfilling. It is a job
that never ends, and it is a job that has a very satisfying impact on the
corporate bottom line, even if that isn't recognized. I get to help users
make effective use of sometimes bizarrely designed products, and I get to
help designers and implementers fix some of their bizarre work before it
stumbles into the marketplace.

I guess I've been at it long enough (11 years) that I have gotten beyond
some of the "appreciation issues." I know everyone isn't going to
appreciate what I do or how I do it. However, I keep finding work and
finding people who do appreciate what I can do for them. That is enough for

Michael, I wish you well, and I wish you happiness in your future endeavors.
Know that we in the Technical Writing craft, as you call it, will be there
to help you when you need us. I hope that you will take with you an
appreciation of what a good Technical Writer can do. And I'm sure you
realize that it is more than arcanum and minutia.

Perhaps we should keep your awards and pass them out annually. The WINGS.
"And the WING this year for best exit from the TECHWR-L list goes to..."
Well, that would be pretty obvious, wouldn't it?

Tom Murrell

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