I’m a technical writer because I suck at creative writing. I’m analytical and apparently quite skilled at describing what I can see and do but not in a way that inspires the imagination. A good technical writer spurns imagination because his reader wouldn’t be reading something technical if the imagination hadn’t already played out. The last resort for most is to read the manual when all imaginative attempts at solving a problem have failed. I try to never leave anything up to my readers’ imagination.
Why is this important? I was fortunate enough to figure out early that my passion was NOT writing but rather was solving problems. In junior high, I did not master the art of diagramming sentences because I loved language. I was good at it because I had an instinctive ability to see patterns and structure, and I liked solving puzzles. And I love rules (grammar is full of rules). I discovered that I could use writing to describe how to solve problems. And then I discovered that I could earn a living by writing stuff that solves problems. In 1997, I discovered that my writing could free me from working in corporate America and allow me to own my own company. I could work out of my home office, surrounded by high-tech gadgets and low-tech farmy stuff like sheep and chickens and hay. Problem solved.
My clients bring me their problems and I solve them, too. What could be better than doing what I love, in a place that I want to be, supported by people who value my abilities?