So you’re waist-deep in a creative writing degree, when your half-baked plan to be a literary wonder stalls. Perhaps, you should have been a technical writer. People keep saying that technical writers are always in demand. Technical writing would certainly be a more practical career path.
I’ve created this handy chart to help you determine whether a degree switch is an order. If you already have that degree, the chart will help you determine whether you should go back to school and get that technical writing degree.
|Literary Writing||Technical Writing|
|Purpose||Willing suspension of disbelief||Unwilling suspension of belief that the described product turned out to be a bucket of crap|
|Grammar and Style||In the minimalist style that currently prevails, short simple sentences, direct prose. Exceptionally unexceptional.||Short imperative sentences, straight-forward instruction, often abbreviated to the point of incomprehensibility.|
|Audience||Rarely read, except by other literary fiction writers||Rarely read, by anybody|
|Structure and Content||Paragraphs and sentences in prose format. In modern fiction, reader’s imagination forced to fill in gaps left by spartan descriptions.||List of equipment required, parts list, numbered steps. Reader’s imagination forced to fill gaps left by missing pieces.|
|Format||Unless you are William Gass or think you are William Gass, format is uniform type family, size, spacing, and weight.||Different fonts, headings, bullets, numbering and other formatting styles to establish hierarchy and order over unruly directions.|
|Professional Respect||Jealousy from the 11 other successful literary writers. Dismissed by the rest of the world.||Disdained by anyone that has tried to assemble an entertainment center.|
|Professional Prospects||Scraping by on pennies earned per word penned or scraping by on a fry cook’s wages.||Underpaid, underappreciated.|