by Bradley Nice, Content Manager at ClickHelp — all-in-one help authoring tool
Many people may not be familiar with technical writing or have limited exposure to it. As a result, they may rely on assumptions and hearsay to form their opinions about technical writing. There are a lot of stereotypes about technical writers that perpetuate myths about the field. For example, some people may assume that technical writers are introverted and only interested in grammar and punctuation, rather than seeing them as skilled communicators who are adept at explaining complex information to a wide range of audiences. So I think it’s important to approach technical writing with an open mind and a willingness to learn. By doing so, we’ll dispel myths and misconceptions about the field and appreciate the important role that technical writers play in communicating complex information to a wide range of audiences.
Let’s bust some myths I came across, here they are:
- Technical writing is boring. While technical writing may be more structured and formal than other forms of writing, it doesn’t have to be boring. Technical writers have the opportunity to use their creativity to make complex information engaging and interesting for their audience. Many people assume that technical writing is dry and uninteresting, but this is not necessarily true. Good technical writers know how to present information in a way that is clear, concise, and engaging for a reader (sometimes even entertaining 🙂).
- Technical writing is only for experts: This is not true. While technical expertise is certainly an asset, technical writers are primarily responsible for communicating complex information in a clear and concise way. A good technical writer can take technical information and make it accessible to a wider audience. While technical writing often deals with complex subjects, the goal is to make that information accessible to a wide audience. Good technical writers are able to break down complex information into understandable terms.
- Technical writing is only about software manuals. While technical writers are certainly in demand for software documentation, they are needed in many other fields as well. Technical writers are needed in industries such as healthcare, finance, and engineering to help communicate complex information to a wide range of audiences.
- Technical writing is only about writing. While grammar and punctuation are certainly important in technical writing, it is not the only thing that technical writers need to focus on. Technical writers must also be skilled at research, organization, and communication to effectively convey complex information. Not to mention that technical writers often work with subject matter experts, conduct research, and use various tools and software to create their documents. And sometimes it’s not writing at all.
- Technical writing is a solitary job. While technical writers may spend a significant amount of time working independently, they also collaborate with subject matter experts (as I already said above) and other stakeholders to ensure that the information they are communicating is accurate and relevant. Effective communication and collaboration are key skills for any technical writer.
The field of technical writing has evolved over time, with new tools, technologies, and best practices emerging. People who are not familiar with the latest trends and developments may hold outdated or inaccurate beliefs about technical writing. I hope I’ve dispelled some of these myths, and now you better understand the importance and versatility of technical writing in various industries and maybe even consider becoming a tech writer.
Have a nice day!
Bradley Nice, Content Manager at ClickHelp.com — best online documentation tool for SaaS vendors