The Not-Boring Tech Writer


September 17, 2018

My name is Jacob Moses, and early in my career I learned a sobering lesson: Everyone hates technical writers.

Well, that’s a bit harsh. It’s more like this: Everyone thinks technical writers are boring, which might be worse than being hated. I don’t know.

I learned this lesson just as most technical writers do: making small talk in a crowded bar with a drunken Canadian.

One month into my first job out of college—yes, as a technical writer—and here I was, laughing, eating, drinking, and having fun.

Moments later, drunken Canadian asked me a simple question; a question, however, that I did not expect would spoil any decency, any likability I’d acquired throughout the night.

“What do you do?”

“I’m a technical writer,” I said with confidence, gripping the base of my drink to prepare for a “Cheers!”.

The cheers never came.

Instead, he just looked at me, almost in disgust, as if I’d mockingly finished the sentence with an exaggerated, “Eh,” or asked if he misses Justin Bieber.

It turns out, making small talk in a crowded bar is only fun until you tell someone you’re a technical writer.

Once you drop that bombshell, it isn’t fun. In fact, suddenly nothing about you is fun. Not your drink. Not your shoes. Nothing.

Because to the general public—especially bargoers—the daily life of a technical writer looks something like this:

7am: Have a bowl of Cream of Wheat and a glass of water
8am: Get inspired by favorite manuals—operation, installation, etc.
12pm: Write a table of contents and some figure captions (skip lunch)
7pm: Consider hanging out with friends; put on your fun shoes; stay inside

In short, we’re boring.

Well—to the general public, the bargoers, Dad—I have a message for you:

I am the not-boring tech writer.

And, yes, I’ve created a blog just to prove it.

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