Thursday, April 10, 2008

Technical Writing or Writing Technically

Is technical writing really writing? I'm looking for a new day job, a new contract, and I am targeting technical writing jobs. When I was writing a software manual a while back for a major software company in Washington, I asked myself and others whether there would be anything left for the real writing. I found that there was. I always have room for real writing when I am excited about a project. Bottom line...writing is what I do. I read books, and I write about them. I write flash, short stories and novels. I can also write technical manuals, training materials and the like. But are those writing. When I worked at Microsoft, I decided that it wasn't. At least writing there wasn't writing. Every sentence, each keystroke was scrutinized and edited beyond recognition until the work I did became the antithesis of mine. I couldn't claim it, I couldn't see me in there anywhere.

Real writing is mine. I can claim it and see myself in it. The characters are me and not me at the same time. I feel charged and motivated. Even though I am the writer, I can't wait to see what happens next. That's writing.

1 comment:

David said...

Tech writing isn't real writing, but the paychecks are more dependable.

And it certainly doesn't have to interfere with real writing. I've read that journalists have that problem.