A technical writer’s mission statement
I recently saw a thought-provoking article on cognitive overhead. It got me thinking about what we do as technical writers.
People learn by attaching a new idea to their existing context. The ability to help them do that is our killer skill. That’s the basis of the tutorials we write, for example: start from a known point and expand the reader’s knowledge.
Based on the above premise, here’s an idea for a technical writer’s mission statement:
Make complex goals achievable within our customer’s context
Originally I’d written “Make complex goals achievable within our reader’s context”. Then I thought the word “reader” may be too narrow, as we often create material in media other than the written word. Actually, that’s often the argument used for calling ourselves “technical communicators” rather than “technical writers”. But that’s another story. 🙂 Anyway, I’m still leaning towards the earlier version of the mission statement:
Make complex goals achievable within our reader’s context
What do you think of these ideas for a mission statement?
After writing this article, I searched to see what other people have said on this topic. Here are some good posts:
- Why you need a tech comm mission statement, by Kai Weber.
- Sample mission statement, on TechWhirl.
- Our continuing mission…, by Karen Rempel.
- Mission Statement, by Kitsap Technical Writing
- The ComfyChair Mission Statement Generator – Click “Thank you Sir, may I have another” to generate a new mission statement. 🙂