Are all technical writers nerds?

11May10

My mentor once said,

You have to be a little weird to love working in this field.

I find this to be a true statement, especially for me. But it also got me thinking about the common interests among professional communicators, some of which may be considered “alternative” to the mainstream (vampires, renaissance fairs, or heavy metal bands).

I never really noticed that several people from my STC Chapter enjoyed renaissance fairs like I do. I have always known _I_ was weird, but seeing it confirmed through other weird people makes me laugh and cry at the same time. Some of you that always go against the grain may say, “Who wants to be normal?” I get that, but I think everyone wants to be normal, at least within their peer groups.

At my last job, someone made a comment to me that I muddled over for a while, and now I open the Pandora’s box to a conversation about the perception of technical writers and other “techie” type people. This person said,

You’re so personable and fun to be around, not like all the other technical writers I’ve worked with.

My response was basically surprise. Because, as I’m sure you can agree, most of the tech writers (or user experience designers, or instructional designers, or editors) are for the most part, fun to be around and people you enjoy working with. I haven’t personally known any extreme introverts, the kind this person was obviously complaining about.

Why do some people consider technical writers nerds? Is it because a lot of us are into “weird” things?

Now it’s your turn…

How do you perceive technical writers (and other communicators). Are you a nerd? What “weird” things do you enjoy that you find other techcomm professionals enjoy as well? Go ahead and share your darkest secrets…I won’t tell.

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One Response to “Are all technical writers nerds?”


  1. 1 Tweets that mention Are all technical writers nerds? « Writing for Purpose -- Topsy.com

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