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This job used to have seven writers and a supervisor. One was really a
database number cruncher who took parts and ECNs and put all the numbers
into a program we could access and also produced product bulletins. One
converted drawings on one system to work on the other, including tagging the
part number callouts so they were live links. These went into the parts
database and into the manuals. One concentrated on parts manuals, three on
writing operators, maintenance, and service manuals, and one filled in
wherever he was needed. We don't know what the supervisor did all day, other
than play with databases.
The one converting drawings wanted more work writing, and it turned out he
was an excellent editor, so we started using him to edit as much as
possible, as we really needed it. The pace left a lot of things wrong and he
was a blessing for the work.
Then we were hit with layoffs and it became three of us. One does parts
manuals, the supervisor, and I do the operator, maintenance, and service
manuals on my own. The supervisor has since found another job and left.
There is an old story about alligators and swamps that is appropriate.
I am trying to edit all the legacy work and my new material and I am finding
LOTS of problems in the legacy material from the others and not so much in
mine. I've looked at mine so often, unless it is bright red in 36 pt font, I
won't see it.
Most writing jobs were self-editing. If they went too long, the editing
became terrible. A week long project it wasn't bad, but a couple of months
had it to the point most of us could find nothing. we tried peer editing as
much as possible, but schedules didn't allow as much as we needed.
One job about 10 years ago had dedicated editors in one department. It was
good and bad. They picked up a lot of errors and that was good. They would
often rewrite and then it didn't mean the same as the language of the
audience (software) as they tried to get it into regular English. So there
was occasionally issues, but overall, it helped a lot.
Most jobs before that were frequently small to very small writing groups and
did not have editors. You had to edit your own, and again, if the project
ran too long, the editing went downhill.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Hamilton" <dick -at- rlhamilton -dot- net>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Saturday, November 01, 2014 3:57 PM
I'm writing an article about editing, and I'm curious about what the folks
on this list think about the state of editing in the corporate world
I'm interested in any thoughts you have, but in particular, I have two
1) Is your work edited by a dedicated editor?
2) If not, what strategies do you use to either peer-edit or self-edit
XML for Technical Communicators http://xmlpress.net
hamilton -at- xmlpress -dot- net
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