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Monday, August 15, 2022

Yay or Nay

This is very clear and well thought out documentation. Bravo! This is very confusing and lacking. It's needs to be better. 

These comments that I've received from others as a technical writer. People have said positive things about my writing. Others have said negative things. And there are others who have been in between.

A big part of this game of technical writing is yay or nay! Thumbs up. Thumbs down. (You might get meh or sideways thumbs.) It's a brutal game at times. But that's just the way it is. But why?

Based on my years of doing this, it comes to this:  Someone's feelings about how you wrote the information is subjective. The information about  might be objective truth. But how you write about it and what someone thinks is not. So, no two writers are going to document a subject the same way. No two editors or Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) will react the same way to your writing. No two people within your intended audience will feel the same way either. You can't just please everyone. It's really a game of yay or nay. And the sooner you realize that, the better off you'll be.

But if we want to keep finding work, we can't have a totally blase attitude either. So what can we do?

All we can do is this: Do your best to understand the subject at hand.  Do your best to understand your audience. Do your best to write the information. Beyond that, there's nothing we can do.

People can be fickle, contradictory, and unreliable in their opinions about what we write. It's really yay or nay. (Meh, if you want to break the monotony.) And that's just something we have to deal with. We just have to shrug and do our best. And if there are ways we can improve, even better. Beyond that, it's whatever. So knowing this, there's one thing we shouldn't do: Do not tie your value as a writer or as a person to what others think of you. Doing this, might make you neurotic. It's not worth it. Why tie your identity to another's whim that's flimsy than paper.

If you want to break the part of the technical writing game that's yay or nay, then don't tie your values to others, especially to those you work for. They are ultimate yay or nayers, sometimes in one breath.

If you're willing to accept this, and you don't have to agree with me, the way to break the yay or nay is tie your identity to God. He's not flimsy, like the corporate types, He's a rock, which you can firmly stand on. Unlike the corporate types, He really cares for you. He doesn't care how you write. He just simply cares and love you because He made you. For me, staying grounded in God no matter what is making all the difference. And if you accepted that, then maybe you can accept this:

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. -- I Corinthians 10:31 NKJV

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