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Qualities of a fake writer

April 14, 2008

Gurudutt Kamath wrote an interesting piece some years ago on ‘fake writers’—those who call themselves professional writers, but in reality they’ve just given themselves a title thinking that it can’t be that hard. After all, everyone can write… Right?

How can you recognise a fake technical writer? These points may give you some clue.

  • Has not written at least a thousand pages that have been accepted by the client. Or, has not written professionally for at least a year.
  • Has more than [a few] errors in the entire user manual or Help file.
  • Has used Microsoft Word for less than a year.
  • Has not invested at least a year in learning about technical writing.
  • Has not delivered at least 10 technical writing jobs; equivalent to one year’s work as a technical writer.
  • Charges whatever the market can offer.
  • Never delivers on schedule.
  • Takes at least twice the time that a professional writer would take.
  • Does not offer a job that satisfies the client in terms of quality and schedules.
  • Has a ready excuse for every goof-up.
  • Believes that doing a few jobs for […] clients is the same as doing a professional, quality job.
  • Believes membership in technical writing groups or any technical writing association makes one a good writer.
  • Tries to bamboozle the client with buzzwords, technology, or infrastructure.

For the full article, see:
http://www.expressitpeople.com/20030317/careers1.shtml

[Link last checked February 2008]

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