Re: Thanks! Car. Long.

Subject: Re: Thanks! Car. Long.
From: Linda Anderson <lindaa -at- PC-SERV1 -dot- EMTEK -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 1995 14:52:50 -0700

On Tue, 11 Apr 1995, Kelly Hoffman wrote:

> Sue Heim <SUE -at- RIS -dot- RISINC -dot- COM> writes about somebody that Shelly LaRock
> quoted:

> > Liking to write has nothing to do with the ability to communicate
> > clearly and effectively to the various target audiences with which
> > we deal!!

> Here I disagree. Liking to write has *everything* to do with the
> ability to communicate in writing.

> If you don't like what you're doing, you're probably not going to be
> very good at it, at least not for long. Not to mention that your
> co-workers won't find you very pleasant to work with.

You are partially right in this, I think. Liking what you do is a large
part of doing it well. However, I think we all know people who, even
though they may like to do something, just aren't very good at it. A
former co-worker of mine is a good example. He loved (REALLY loved)
technical writing, but the fact is he was (is) not very good at it. We had
to edit, and re-edit, everything the guy wrote. Try as he would, he just
couldn't seem to write in a clear, easy to understand format. (I remember
he seemed to be particularly fond of the dreaded dangling participle, and
it used to drive a couple of us nuts!)

It definitely helps to like it, but desire is no substitute for talent.
Some people can write, and write well. Others cannot. It's not a
judgement, just a fact of life.

> Why is it rude? Having "other skills to fall back" is good advice for
> *anyone* these days, not just tech writers. With the pace of
> technology, whole job categories are becoming obsolete in the blink of
> any eye.

It's very true, having other skills to fall back on is a good thing. But
at the other end of it, I have several friends who have been technical
writers far in excess of ten years. I have now been one for nearly seven
and still see myself as a novice compared to many others.

Communications is not a field that I see becoming obsolete anytime soon.
Some specific areas are no longer requiring the magnitude of information
they once were (i.e. aerospace), but you take your experience and move
into other areas with it. You can't discount the entire profession.

Isn't there something out there that says the average person changes
careers something like four times over their life? (Help me out here, guys.)
I guess that gives a person a lot of back-up skills to fall back on.

That's my 2 pennies.


In hearing, there is wisdom. In speaking, repentance.

EMTEK Health Care Systems
Tempe, Arizona

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