juliette at harvestroad.com
Mon Dec 13 21:29:03 EST 2004
Don't you think there ought to be some kind of Retribution for people
who tell you their software is trivially easy to use and then make you
download a 160 page manual, with links to five or six other manuals
where they actually explain the details? Something slow, with boiling
oil in it? </snip>
I write those books! I'm a technical writer for a software company. Some
of my books are 250+ pages and getting longer by the day. Unfortunately
it's impossible to write about techy stuff without sounding techy, but
in my own defence my resume says "Committed to documenting complex
technical subjects in plain English". I strive for simple grammar, short
words, and unambiguous phrasing. It's harder than it sounds.
Earlier somebody mentionned the various jobs available to writers. I
always knew I wanted to write for a living and considered the various
options. I tried newspaper journalism and it was fun but it wasn't right
for me because I lack the killer instinct. Tech writing came next and I
love it. It has everything I like about journalism but doesn't have the
Tech writing is as creative and enjoyable as fiction writing but not so
open-ended because tech writing has to describe/document an actual thing
-- a machine or program or whatever. The disadvantage of tech writing is
that it satisfies the urge to write. I enjoy writing fiction but don't
do much of it because I use my writing energy in my job.
I'm lucky to be in a writing career that is so enjoyable. It also pays
quite well -- that's unusual for a writing job!
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