One of the questions that was often asked in my previous interviews for technical writing was, “Don’t you think you will get bored with this job?” Surely, technical writing is not as colorful as, say, writing novels or short stories or building software. The job is pretty simple, depending on the process that you have established with the rest of your team or with yourself, and it is more or less composed of data gathering, reviewing the subject (which usually in my case is an application that I could play around with), conferring with SMEs, planning, writing, proofreading, revising, formatting, more proofreading, more revising, more formatting, QA and more revising, more formatting, final copy. Other aspects of the job include learning a lot about the technologies and scripting or programming languages that help you perform your job, and mind you, there are many.
I remember a conversation I had once with an acquaintance about this person whose favorite past-time seemed to be to hurl vitriol about practically anything that attracted his attention. While I thought that the reason for the person’s angst was a deeply-ingrained attitude problem, the acquaintance judged that it must be because he was “just” a technical writer. I beg to disagree.
“Talking about my job may be boring as hell, but I suppose having to listen to the discussion is a small price to pay for actually getting to do it. And I do enjoy actually doing my job. I don’t do it because I have an underinflated sense of self. I don’t do it so I can have something to bitch about. I don’t do it so I can play with computer stuff (that’s a bonus)…
“I’m a tech writer because I solve problems with words. It’s the best intersection I’ve been able to find for my creativity, my analytical abilities, my drive, my compulsion to learn, etc. And all those things which make me one of the coolest people on the planet to know, I can employ them every day when I go into work. I don’t have to leave any bit of myself behind when I walk in the door. I don’t have to pretend I’m something else just to keep money coming in.”
“So, yeah, talking about tech writing is boring. Because actually doing it is much more fun and a hell of a lot more productive.”