Re: Technical writers

Subject: Re: Technical writers
From: Bill Swallow <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 09:31:33 -0400

> Some time ago our company looked for a technical writer.
> As a very very small department the person would also have to be able
> to write Marketing material.
> My boss who was neither a writer nor a native speaker of English, told
> candidates, that anyone who can write can learn to do technical
> writing, for Marketing writing you need more skills.
> Do you agree with that?

Marketing writing demands more creativity, which can be more difficult
for some. I do disagree that anyone who can write can be a technical
writer. I won't go into any philosophical or technological details
(dig archives for that stuff), but from experience alone, I've met way
too many "technical writers" who would have been much better off doing
something else, preferably something else that had zero interaction
with computers or other high-tech gadgets. These "technical writers"
were mainly English and Creative Writing grads who loved to write but
compromized on the writing they enjoyed and went right to a paycheck,
without thinking they needed more than just writing skills to succeed.
A handful of these "technical writers" were Masters and PhD holders
within the study of technical writing who were so academically minded
that they couldn't function in a real-world work environment.

Bill Swallow


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Technical writers: From: Carrie Baker

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