What do I want to be when I grow up?

Technical writing is the art, craft, practice, or problem of translating that which is logical into that which is grammatical. Technical writing forms a bridge between the logical (the primarily binary concepts understood by computers, robots, lawyers) and the illogical (the haphazard, inconsistent concepts misunderstood carbon-based life forms, highly intelligent computers, lawyers) via the medium of the grammatical, the haphazardly logical system incomprehensible to both. The practice of technical writing presupposes that you, the illogical, actually want to learn about the logical subject, which of course is in all cases false. This basis in a false presupposition makes technical writing a pursuit typically favoured by those with arts degrees from obscure universities.

I promise you that, when I was growing up, being a technical communicator was not on my list of things to do. It wasn’t even on the list when I did my first technical writing contract.

A recruiter at Kelly Services needed a technical writer for a Boeing assignment in 1990. She didnʻt have one. She looked at my background, and decided I could do it. “Youʻll be great.” I believed her.

I wish I could thank her today.

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