Re: EE. and Tech Writing Reply (long post)

Subject: Re: EE. and Tech Writing Reply (long post)
From: Donna Menk <Donna_Menk -at- PC -dot- RADIAN -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 1995 14:45:20 CDT

[Dick's response to double-eagles-turned-tech-writers...]

(I'm also speaking to the recent threads of certification, and degreed
tech-writers vs. non-degreed tech writers, and our place in the New
World Order of corporate downsizing, uh, rightsizing, uh...)

There was a lot of wisdom in those words, Dick. Thank you for putting
it so well.

My entry into the Wonderful World of Technical Writing was similar
to yours, except I came from a business/accounting/medical/science
background. That background has been invaluable to me, not only in
writing about business-related software, but in understanding how
management looks at the costs. (One example: I understand better how
to present the cost-effectiveness of hiring professional writers.) And
in knowing how to dig up cost-accounting figures to present to
management. And in numerous other ways that would bore you silly if I
were to enumerate them.

I've served my time in management (ever tried holding 35 corks
underwater simultaneously?), and I've worked with TROFF (Excedrin
headache #342) and WordStar and CPM (toldja I was long in the tooth).
All these bits-and-pieces have served me well in the various writing
jobs I've had. They've helped me to understand, and they've helped me
to communicate effectively with the people with whom I've worked.

Writing (and learning new things) enriches my life. I consider myself
fortunate that there are employers out there willing to pay me to
write, because I'd do it anyway. (Don't tell 'em that, OK?)

The bottom line is that you *can* combine your love for a well-turned
phrase with a good eye for design with your background in diverse
areas. It helps to develop an open mind and a thick skin, I won't kid
you about that. If you can focus on the main goal--to deliver the best
product you can--it's actually pretty easy to learn how to improve
without feeling like you failed.

Keep 'em coming, Dick.


donna_menk -at- radian -dot- com
Radian Corporation
Austin, TX

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