Technical Writing and Creativity
Technical Writers are creative people. Shocked? They have to describe a dialog box in the same manner, again and again. The have to say ‘Click on Save button to save the changes’. No other option. Then where’s the scope of creativity? Ah, you saw them using Photoshop? Or SnagIT? Hey, again they were not allowed to enter into the image, only crop it since designer is on leave and the document is got to be released.
Hmmmmm. Developers wonder (sometimes admire) as “I too wrote the same point, used almost same words; however, your draft looks better. You are really creative people.” Is that true?
Many technical writers want to agree with this developer but internally, they feel that there is nothing creative about their job. They are made to think and write in a specific way. That’s how the client demands. That’s what the organization hires you for. And that’s what tech writers have learnt. That’s how the tech writing community expects.
I personally believe that tech writing is definitely about creativity. True that tech writers do the same thing in the same way, they can always explore different ways to convey the same message. Developing or updating templates offer them extensive opportunity to be creative. Its fun and its challenge, and the more you love your job, more you can be creative. When you direct the designer three times to crop the image, not that way but I want it this way, na not like this but make it without borders, isn’t it thinking creatively?
Of late, XML and structure authoring have threatened to limit the scope of being creative, yet, I believe that tech writers are creative. They lend words to thoughts. They lend visualization to imagination. And they lend smiles when a user finds the required information – clear, complete and correct. And I bet you can’t do that without being creative.