Vinish Garg

Technical Writer. Published Author.

Technical Writing and Creativity

with 5 comments

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.

Written by Vinish Garg

June 12, 2008 at 11:40 am

5 Responses

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  1. Many lines of work can be said to involve creativity — all you have to do is stipulate a definition of “creative” and then see who fits.

    What’s the point of determining whether some line of work involves “creativity” (however we define it)?

    Milan Davidovic

    June 12, 2008 at 4:48 pm

  2. In a broad sense, we call poets, painters, sculptors and writers as creative people. And I doubt if we can consider a foreman, or contractor, or stock-exchange broker as creative people. That was generic. Personally, I believe that everybody can be creative including the later set of professionals; though the scope of being creative differs.

    By creative, I understand a persona as the ability and opportubity to explore the create tinge of mind, beyond the world of set rigid rules, regulations, and parameters. Theoratically, one may ask how a traffic policeman who controls trafic at a crossing cn be creative? He has got to control traffic for fixed time interval from either side of crossing. Whereas a poet or a fiction writer has got all the liberty to explore and write on any damn issue that one feels like. Its about the scope of creativity.


    June 13, 2008 at 2:10 am

  3. Vinish, creativity is not only the domain of the alleged creative “professions.” Beyond doubt, you can call a foreman and the others you denigrate creative depending on how creative they are with what they do. To be creative is to create anew with full focus – not regurgitate. And, that is true of the mason and the writer.

    And, BTW, I have seen a creative traffic policeman. This creative person manages traffic in Thimpu. Bhutan and his direction of traffic is pure dance – I would call that creative.

    Sorry, but sometimes to differ is to be creative 🙂


    June 16, 2008 at 10:57 am

  4. I agree! As a writer, we have constant creativity. We have to think about which words to use to describe something with intention. This is not to say that creativity does not play a large role in most professions. To think about it, there are very FEW professions that do not require creativity. Creativity allows us to be successful. It allows us to solve problems, communicate, and work efficiently. Creativity is essential to success.

    • Very well put in words, thanks for stopping by to read the post.


      August 23, 2011 at 9:00 pm

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