Re: Where do 'old' techwriters go to die?

Subject: Re: Where do 'old' techwriters go to die?
From: "Elna Tymes" <etymes -at- lts -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 06 Dec 1999 14:47:53 -0800

John Eldard wrote:

> For those of you who have been techwriting for over ten years, what are you
> doing for challenges? Especially those working in corporate America?

<joints creaking, getting out my cane>

Since I've been in the business for something over 30 years, I guess I have some
perspective on this. Good tech writers generally tend to follow a pattern: they
put in some number of years as a salaried technical writer, rising through the
ranks and eventually becoming a project leader. From there, the path is usually
to pubs manager and contracting, usually with people going in and out of both
roles. More older writers tend to choose contracting if they have the rest of
their finances in order (esp. medical insurance) because of the hassles inherent
in pubs management - anywhere! Some stay as senior writers in organizations that
recognize the value of senior individual contributors. Unfortunately, a lot of
senior writers and pubs managers get re-orged out of their companies just shy of
full retirement pay, and have to make some important decisions in a hurry.

Then there are those of us who form our own companies and sell tech writing and
software development services to the big companies, and thus get to pick and
choose what corporate hells we'll put up with.

Elna Tymes
Los Trancos Systems

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