What thrills you?

Subject: What thrills you?
From: "Larry Kunz ((919) 254-6395)" <ldkunz -at- VNET -dot- IBM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 1995 11:57:30 EDT

On 17 July, Barbara Green wrote:

> Here's a non-tech topic to kick around: What aspects of technical writing
> give you the most satisfaction?

Rewriting, oddly enough, excites me. After wrestling with a piece of
turgid text (possibly written by an SME, but more often written by me,
yesterday, when I was in a hurry), I love that magic moment when the
light breaks through. Suddenly I can't work fast enough, crossing out
the crud and writing prose that's *inspired*.

I also enjoy getting into the shoes of my audience and selecting the
right medium, format, user interface (pick whichever ones apply) for
a specific person doing a specific task.

Then there's the thing that happened about a month ago. I found
myself having to use a complicated procedure I hadn't used in a
long time. Selecting online help, I realized with a start that
I'd *written* the help about two years ago. I held my breath and
-- ta-da! -- breezed through the procedure without a hitch.

(OK, I admit it: That last one was a relief more than a thrill.
But it felt good just the same.)

Larry Kunz
STC Assistant to the President for Professional Development
ldkunz -at- vnet -dot- ibm -dot- com

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