Day 195 – Vision of Success

Hope fills the holes of my frustration in my heart. – Emanuel Cleaver

My son has been on summer vacation for over a month now and is almost in tears because he has to write a blog post about a book he’s recently read, and I am oh so frustrated! I suppose my sympathy is limited because I write, edit, and produce almost 6,000 pages in software documentation. Anyway, I’ve been trying to tell him if you just put your mind to it and stop complaining, it will be easier than you think. It’s all about determination and perspective. If you think you’re going to fail, you probably will (self-fulfilling prophecy); however, if you can envision success, you will achieve success.

Before the blog book report tears started, Ian actually suggested today’s subject, so here’s your daily mystery “what is it?!?” picture ready for you to guess.

What Is It?!?

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What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture (Day 194)

Yesterday’s picture probably looked familiar, but taken out of its context, was not guessable. So what was it? What you saw was part of my car’s dashboard. The silver portion is plastic, although it might look metal.

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19 thoughts on “Day 195 – Vision of Success

  1. Golly. Another Tech Writer!! I think I wrote … gadzooks … tens of thousands of pages of software (and some hardware) documentation over the course of 30+ years and who knows how many manuals, checklists, white papers.

    I tell them that writing is talking through your fingers. Don’t write. Talk to your readers. Some kids relate to the idea, some don’t. It worked for my granddaughter and her father too.

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    1. Yay, a kindred spirit! I’ve been writing documentation, knowledge base articles, white papers, etc., for over 13 years now. I’ve always loved writing but never, ever imagined a technical writing job. I love it! Plus, I get to work from home, although I do go in the office occasionally to do some socializing. 😉

      I told Ian basically the same thing as you, to say it out loud, to pretend he’s telling a friend, and type it out. And after he’s written something, to step away and then look at it again. So where did you do your technical writing? I work for OpenText, a Canadian-based document management software company … but we’re a worldwide company.

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      1. I worked for everybody at one time or another I think, including Intel, DEC, Pfizer, Siemens (MA/COM and Morgan subsidiaries), plus a whole pile of start-ups no one ever heard of because most of them went bankrupt. I started tech writing in Israel when there wasn’t a name for it … it was a new profession.

        I worked on the development team for DB-1, developed by an Israeli team at the Weizmann Institute, subsequenty bought by IBM, morphed into DB-2, probably the world’s best known database (especially in Europe). I did a lot of database work, relational and object linked (and combinations thereof, which is how most DBs are done today). I also taught tech writing for a while. I’m glad there are a few working tech writers left. So many places have decided no one reads documentation, so they “generate” it, which means (obviously) you get totally useless (but huge) documents — but they satisfy a contractual obligation to provide documentation. No one said it had to be useful.

        I worked in Israel from 1980, when personal computers (such as they were) didn’t have hard drives, when floppy discs were really floppy, and Microsoft didn’t exist except as a startup in a garage on the west coast. I’m one of the Original Geeks 🙂 There were no word processing program and the printer was this giant dot matrix thing in another building on the campus. Some people are really impressed I worked on DB-1 because there’s a rumor it didn’t exist. It did. I know. I was there.

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        1. My goodness, you ARE one of the original geeks! It’s very interesting to hear about technology pre-Microsoft and Apple days. My first job as a word processing secretary, we had a “dummy” terminal, and it was command-line processing, times sure have changed since then. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. How about the wire on a spiral bound notebook?

    {I enjoyed eavesdropping on the discussion of technical writing…I was on the other end. I have read a lot of software and hardware manuals over the years.}

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    1. OMG, Mic, someone who actually reads the manuals! You know we are a rare breed. In my experience, most users won’t read software/hardware documentation unless they run into a problem. The sad part about that is they miss a lot of useful information. I giggle when a support technician tells me, “I didn’t know it would do that! Cool!” and I know immediately they didn’t read the documentation; otherwise, they’d already know about that “cool” feature. So I am thrilled to know there’s someone out there that does read. YAY!

      As for your guess on the mystery pic, it’s not a wire on a spiral bound notebook. But it is a spiral. On what though?!?

      Thanks for making a lonely tech writer a happy tech writer … especially as I finish up documentation for a new product. 😀

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      1. You are quite welcome Schelley! I could tell you stories about my adventures with technical manuals. 🙂 Perhaps I should be thanking you as surrogate for all the unknown writers who wrote all of those! Hope your new product roll out goes smoothly…

        Ok, so here’s an off the wall guess…how about a black plastic vacuum cleaner hose!? (Although the new ones are not usually spirals.)

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