When I took Technical Writing Methodology in grad school, one of my big group projects was to write a manual on how to use the university’s DOSsy e-mail system. (This was back in the day when your average person had never heard of e-mail … and our group was supposedly writing the instructions on how to use it. Heh.)
It was so difficult to write. Not only was I a bit of a techno-phobe, but I was much more comfortable writing vague and rather poor papers on issues of hermeneutics, ontology, and epistemology as relating to what literary critics wrote about what other literary critics wrote about what other literary critics wrote about literary things.
(Just now I had to look up “hermeneutics” to make sure I spelled it correctly.)
So today I whipped up a set of procedures telling our customers how to use our software’s e-mail system. Had the draft done in about an hour, I did.
And guess what … that draft is a whole lot better than the final e-mail manual we turned in to my Technical Writing Methodology prof. And, I’m sad to admit, it’s far better (and more interesting) than any of the pseudointellectually jargony stuff I wrote about what literary critics wrote about what other literary critics wrote about … ad nauseam. You get the point.
I guess this means I’ve come a long way, baby. Or something like that.