Hello? Is this on?

Small blip there, apologies. I presume I missed a memo somewhere as it was definitely a server issue that affected a few other sites or was this one of those things I was emailed about months ago and have since forgotten? Most probably the latter so apologies again for the lack of warning.


As a Technical Author, I write software manuals for a living. The process of creating the manuals involves a fair amount of planning, information sourcing and research. Frequently I am writing the manuals at the same time the code is being developed, and it’s only towards the end of a project that I get to see the finished applications and compare them with the documentation. When that moment comes all hell breaks loose as usually my interpretation of a function (taken from a specification document) differs slightly from the implemented design in the UI. This is the way of things and I have no complaint at all as I’ve grown to accept that at the end of a development project, the tech author will always have a heavier workload than at any other time. I’ve worked in several companies with differing approaches to product development and it’s always the same. Universally constant.

I’m at that stage of the project right now. The only slight difference from the norm is that I’m currently working on six different projects, with manuals for two of them (the largest two) still being corrected and re-written. I’ve yet to start on a 250 page configuration guide, nor a 180 page system installation guide (these are large enterprise wide applications with many parts on different servers). And yes, I am beginning to hit the “mild hysteria” stage but have yet to make it full blown panic (I don’t think I’ll actually get there with this project as, for a change, all the information I need is available, I’m just lacking time to process it all).

Hang on, I’m breaking one of my own rules: Do not blog about work!

Suffice to say that whilst it may appear normal here, I feel very much like the graceful swan (ugly duckling?) of blogging. Posting glides smoothly onwards whilst real life is thrashing away under the surface. But then that’s no different from any other blog really, what you post is never a true reflection of your life, of your person, of your thoughts and emotions. For one, capturing such things accurately in writing is a skill beyond most, and if we blogged everything we did we would be churning out the most awful, boring and repetitive navel-gazing posts day after day after day.

Hmmmm, that feels a tad to close to the mark.

Never fear, posting will continue apace as I have plenty of ill-conceived draft posts that I’ll be dusting off and “pre-date publishing”, but I may be noticeably absent from your comment boxes (it’s normally Gert that notices, mind you, as she chases me from comment box to comment box). Of course, I’ll still expect you to keep me entertained with witty and pithy comments as, if nothing else, it would make a change.