Famous Technical Writers – Or Are They?
When you think about technical writing, few, if any, famous writers come to mind. Though there might be technical writers in software magazines and in larger newspapers, they aren’t getting the same exposure as fiction and best-selling authors. But maybe that’s not entirely true.
If you consider that technical writing is a process in which the reader is taught to do something, it seems that Martha Stewart may be a technical writer too.
The Technical Writing Suspects
If you look at the books available on the market right now, you see the best-selling fiction stories first, but close behind are books about cooking and fitness. These books help to break down complicated topics in order to make them more accessible to a wider audience. Sound familiar? Some of the technical writers I’d include:
- Jillian Michaels – Making the Cut
- Gary Taubes – Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It
- Martha Stewart – Martha Stewart’s New Pies and Tarts: 150 Recipes for Old-Fashioned and Modern Favorites
- Rachael Ray – Rachael Ray’s Look + Cook
As you can see, these authors might not sound like they should be a part of a technical writing team, but they take difficult concepts and make them easier for the reader. This is akin to the way that your employee handbook or manual is used to instruct new employees on the policies and the processes of your company.
Does this mean that technical writing is something that is as simple as creating a To Do list? That might be an exaggeration. What is clear is that technical writing is a fluid idea in a world where information is readily accessible at any time and in nearly any location with a WiFi signal. Technical writing is everywhere – and it’s needed everywhere, even if it’s packaged as a new fitness routine or a new holiday cookbook. No matter what the end result may be, the technical writer needs to be able to explain the concepts to the audience in print, not just on a television show.
Who else do you consider to be a technical writer, even though the rest of the world might not see it that way? We’d love to hear your thoughts – please comment and share.