How I got started in technical writing

This is the story of why I am still a technical writer. It all started-no that is not exactly what I had in mind. Let me try it this way. Once upon a time I was sitting in tech writer school somewhere in this country. My mind was drifting a wee bit towards my fellow students and thinking, ”What on earth are you doing here? Are you really, really sure you fit into this new world?” I kept thinking that the other students were a bit on the dry side for my liking. Then there was the job itself. Was I going to be simply some sort of ghost writer?  Did this suit my personality at all? I had spent most of my working life as a mainframe service engineer at IBM and the thought of sitting in one place the whole day was scarier to me than bungee jumping over a crocodile infested swamp.

Our lecturer made a sign that we should carry on and left to take an urgent call. In a matter of moments he returned and said aloud, “Well that was a pity. Someone wants a technical writer immediately and nobody is available.” Suddenly he turned around and said, “You guys are almost at the end of this course. Anyone here want to become a real live technical writer today?”

Someone piped up that he would go and I realized that my mouth had taken over control of my body. So within a few minutes I was on my way to Haifa to write a book on an ultra sound machine. It could have been a detonation device for a nuclear bomb. I knew absolutely nothing about ultra sound machines. Little did I know this was par for the course in this wacky profession!

Next issue: My First Day as a Technical Writer