Rough Drafts at a Technical Writing Conference? Why Not?
Contrary to popular belief, technical writing conferences aren’t as boring as outsiders might think. At the STC 2012 in Chicago, one thing attendees found out is that Rough Drafts certainly do have a place at this sort of technical writing conference: on stage. Formed by two STC members, The Rough Drafts played at the technical conference on Monday May 21st.
In all seriousness, what about rough drafts and their value for technical writing? Just like any writer, the key to being able to produce a strong final copy is to take the time to create many other subpar copies. Over and over, the text can be written and rewritten through various iterations ensuring the targeted audience will get the documentation they truly need.
To make your rough drafts sing, it doesn’t hurt to start with writing down what you know about the subject, if anything at all. By working with the client who needs the documentation, you can learn what misinformation you have, what’s missing entirely, and what direction you might need to go. Even the earliest drafts can be good building blocks for getting the final deliverable right. View feedback as the opportunity to move forward and create strong documentation that is as factual as it is helpful.
True, technical writing may never sound like a rockabilly band, but it never hurts to have some fun at a conference.