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  • Writer's picturejglicksmith

The Boring-to-Interesting Journey

Updated: Oct 29, 2018

Preparation. Sometimes, it just isn't fun or interesting.

Preparation. Sometimes, it just isn't fun or interesting. However, to reach a state of flow, we have to go through the effort. Whether you are a technical communicator, a firefighter, an electrician, or the leader of a major organization, preparation is necessary for successful outcomes.

Bozoette's Red Nose blog prompted me this morning on this topic. Electric companies train their electrical engineers to respond to ice storms in a way that minimizes the effect of outages for their customers. To be sure, they have all their procedures and policies documented.

The fact they are able to respond so quickly and efficiently is because of their training, experience, and knowledge transfer practices.

I suspect, like firefighters, they actually enjoy the work because they know how to meet the challenge.

Firefighters know they need to stay physically fit and train continuously to be able to respond appropriately. They may not enjoy physical training, but they do it because the work of firefighting is physically difficult. They may not enjoy training on the basics over and over, but they do it because they need to be able to respond automatically if they are faced with something out of the ordinary--which happens all the time. This preparation enables the ability to go into flow when the tones drop.

The work of the #technicalcommunicator is the same. We take on projects that are painful. We have to dig for information; subject matter experts are not forthcoming or they are non-existent; resources are limited; timelines are unrealistic. But we do the work, because it feels so good to do the learning, the organization (fitting all the pieces together), and the publishing. Ultimately, WE become the subject matter experts, because we take the time to learn the details and have the deep understanding about how they all fit together.

Training and experience, accepting the difficult challenges, is how we get better at what we do.

The mark of a good technical communicator is the willingness to dig in, accept feedback, and improve appropriately.


One of the ways technical communicators can continue the learning is by attending conferences. One of the best conferences in the #TechComm world is coming up at the end of March: The Society for Technical Communication, Rochester Chapter's SPECTRUM.

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