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Friday, July 22, 2022

The Moment

As a technical writer, you might have this epiphany too: What you work on isn't yours. 

Sad to say no matter how much or how long you labored away, the documentation you create isn't yours. It belongs to the company. 

For some, this might not be a problem. For others, such as myself, it's harder to accept. But it's a fact that I had to accept. I may have worked on documents from their inceptions, but I don't get to own the fruits of my labor. I'm really creating someone else's product. 

I have had to detach myself from documentation, and it's been a painful process doing so. Why? It's because I like to create and write. But what I'm writing and creating isn't mine. Even if they say you own the documentation, the obvious fact is otherwise.

So what do you do with this? When the higher ups want to change the direction of documentation or scrap them all together, we just have to let them. You can give your thoughts on this, if you feel there are better ways to do this. But, we ultimately have to let go. Fighting is a waste of time and energy, because it's not ours to fight for. And when the time comes when you leave or they let you go, it makes easier to leave behind the documentation. But knowing this truth shouldn't give us a pass to create subpar documents.

Work hard and create quality products but don't get too attached. Steward and manage these documents with excellence. But we're servants, maybe keepers, not owners of the documentation. So keep that in mind. And it's a balance we need to maintain, if we want a healthy outlook on documentation.

Maybe someday I'll own a technical document because it'll be tied to a product I created independently. I could imaging writing the script for a JRPG (something like Final Fantasy comes to mind) or the instructions on how to play it. But I'm not sure if creating products is my calling. Maybe an exception is publishing another book but that's yet to be determined. But who knows. Life, especially the future, can be a strange thing.

But, if we were honest with ourselves, we truly don't own anything. The true and rightful owner of all is God. And we should really surround our lives and efforts around God. The sooner one accepts that, the better. I have to keep learning this truth, even when it hurts.

"The earth is Yahweh’s, with its fullness; the world, and those who dwell in it." -- Psalms 24:1 WEB.

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