Is it sacrilegious for a Technical Writer to sell the Vande Koppel?

Have you ever found a job that’s just so exciting you can’t wait to get going with it every day?

I’ve found one. I’m the Editor for a non-profit organisation’s Journal.  I have other hats for this organisation (I think it was six hats, at last count) but my Editor hat is by far my favourite.

In the years BM (Before MomHood) I was a technical writer. That’s somebody who writes manuals, installation guides, online help, and that kind of thing for anything from mechanical objects (cars, robotics, radios etc.) to medical stuff, all the way to Software.  No, before you get all angry, I have never ever written anything for Microsoft.

Tell you the truth, being a technical writer pays the bills quite handily, but I really hated it. Of course, my hatred might have had a lot to do with me having absolutely no idea how the robotics at my last company worked.  I left that job on maternity leave, we came to NZ, hubby got a job here, and that was the end of that.

And that was the end of my writing, for a very long time. I even sold all my writing books. All my style guides. All my dictionaries. I even sold my Vande Kopple.  I think that’s Technical Writing Sacrilege. (Maybe I should do my evil laugh again.)

Funny though, writing (and editing) never leaves you.  At this lovely non-profit organisation, the need for my writing skills kept popping up. So I used them. One thing led to another and I ended up on the editorial team that produces the Journal.

And I love this job. I’m not paid for it, but it doesn’t matter. I’m manipulating words, debating which is the best word to use, reorganising sentences, and making articles readable. As a side effect, I started up this blog to write for myself again.  I don’t even need my Vande Koppel. It seems to be stuck in my head.

Clearly I was not meant to be a technical writer. But this Editor lark is fantastic. And I’m loving it.

Do you have a job that you can’t wait to do every day that doesn’t involve your children?

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About Broot

Thoughts about learning and life that are lost in a sea of blogs.

8 responses to “Is it sacrilegious for a Technical Writer to sell the Vande Koppel?”

  1. solodialogue says :

    Ahh, now the comment makes sense. A little tiny bit more. I have never heard of the Vande Kopple style guide. Of course, I went to law school and we were only taught the Harvard Blue Book for citation of legal books. Long before I was a mom, I was a broadcast journalism major. I worked for a public television station making documentaries and I loved going to that job. Creating, writing, taping, using talent already working there. It was a dream. Then I went to law school and it all went to hell… (lol!) Ok, so now we both know more about each other!

  2. Jenn @ You know...that Blog? says :

    You’re right, we are clones. I can write a manual in my sleep, but wow, boring. Editing is definitely where it’s at! Too bad you don’t get paid for it. Wonder how many companies down there might be looking for just that ability though… perhaps this is a segue into a new career? Hrmmm… 😉

  3. Amber says :

    I’m gald you love your job 🙂

    Right now, I technically don’t have one but I’d like to be a published author one day.

  4. Dianna Graveman says :

    Unfortunately, I’m a technical writer NOW and was an editor in a former life. (Maybe I should say “fortunately,” for at least I’m employed.) I loved the full-time editing gig for a publishing house that produced both a magazine and trade books. Unfortunately (there’s that word again), when the economy tanked, so did the subscriber list and book sales. I couldn’t afford to stick around and hope for the best. Such is life. So happy you’re enjoying your new adventure!

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