I had fun last week sharing some of my “Best of Tech Writing” field trips as a way to show how technical writing can be fun. However, as I was reading the post again Thursday morning, I realized that I was only covering the extracurricular activities. What about the job itself? Is the actual task of technical writing fun? I will remedy that today.
It All Depends…
A great deal of the answer to “Is technical writing fun?” has to do with your personal definition of fun…or simple joy. Some questions to ask yourself:
- Do you like (or at least find it easy) to move words around on the page/screen until they say exactly what you want?
- Do you like learning new and potentially difficult things?
- Do you enjoy interacting with people who, by many measures, are a lot smarter (or at least better educated) than you?
- Do you enjoy organizing things?
- Do you have a passion for well-written or -spoken language?
- Related: Do you enjoy playing with language in formats besides work such as puns, poetry, fiction?
- Do you read for fun?
- Do you enjoy teaching or at least informing others about interesting topics?
- Related: Do you like breaking down subjects/instructions into simple steps so others can perform a specific task correctly?
- Do you have good instincts when it comes to identifying the main point of a story or of identifying key themes in a large pile of research?
- Do you enjoy finding good arguments for persuading someone of a particular point of view?
- Do you enjoy shaping content so that it meets the needs of a specific audience?
- Do you enjoy variety in your work?
If you answered “Yes!” to most or all of these questions, then yes: you might find the field of technical writing fun. That’s not to say it’s not a lot of hard work. It can be. Still, I wouldn’t trade it for any job in the world. But hey, that’s just me.