Isn’t Technical Writing is the same as other forms of writing?
There are so many different types of writing. At a bird’s eye view, all kinds of writing look similar. They all require similar skills and have one basic goal; effectively communicate the required information to the intended audience.
Trust me, it is hard to write in a simple and easy-to-understand language.
Different kinds of writing
All forms of writing can be grouped into two major blocks:
- Creative writing: This form of writing is about authoring books, novels, poetry, TV show scripts, movie scripts, and stories. This requires great imagination, creativity, and innovation, as you need to tell a story with a huge emotional touch. Your readers could visualize your characters while reading your content.
You may want to read a tale about halloween pumpkins.
- Technical writing: This kind of writing is about writing user guides/manuals, help manuals, installation, guides, repair procedures, maintenance manuals, assembly instructions, reports, white papers, etc. This requires an understanding of both technology and language. I have written this post in which you can read more about what is technical writing in the modern world.
Difference between Technical Writing and other forms of writing
If we talk about the language part; such as grammar or spelling, they both are the same and require you to have a good understanding of language. However, the following points can make a difference:
The main difference between these two types of writing is their purpose. The purpose of any creative writing document is to entertain or captivate the reader, while Technical writing documents are written to educate, instruct, or inform their readers.
You do not read a novel or story to learn something or to perform some tasks, however, you look for a user guide to find a solution to your problem
The creative documents are not written while keeping any category of audience, they are generic. Yes, sometimes these documents are written for an age group, but not a particular education level or their job-specific.
On the other hand, technical writing documents are always written while keeping a specific audience in mind. An audience analysis is always performed to know their education level, understanding of technology, or job profile, before writing any document.
Writing Style and format
Creative writing documents reflect the authors’ thoughts and imagination. There are characters, unique plots, and then the story around it that emphases more on the aesthetics than the usefulness (utility) of the content. The document formats vary from author to author as it is more of their imagination and thoughts.
Technical writing focuses more on the use as they are meant to guide the user to perform certain actions or educate them. They are more clear and precise documents. The author uses specific formats and style guides which are mostly determined by the company or a group of writers who are writing for the same domain.
You may want to read about Project management and software quality.
Does that mean that Technical writing and other forms of writing are poles apart?
With the evolving technology and increasing user needs, the difference between types of writing is diminishing.
Let us understand this with the following example:
If you could not find a specific feature on your phone then, where do you search for it?
You are going to search for it on Google.
Companies are working hard to ensure that the first result that appears on google is from their website and not from any unauthorized source. They are achieving this by Search Engine Optimization (SEO). However, this was the job of a content writer or a blog writer.
Now, users prefer to watch a video or listen to a podcast instead of reading a page of instructions. However, this was the job of an Instructional Designer.
You may want to see: Guest Blogging Services: An Upcoming Seo Technique To Improve Your Website Hits.
Because of all this, all these fields are overlapping each other and most of the companies are looking for a Technical Content Writer. A writer who can efficiently perform all the roles.
Final words on the difference between Technical Writing and other forms of writing
Even though there are differences between technical writing and other forms of writing, however, there is one thing that binds them all, i.e., Language. Every writer deals with the language and should have a good understanding of it.
Some people are working as a freelance writer and earning by doing all kinds of writing work, which they get from some of the best freelance websites. People who are earning in Dollars and getting it transferred using PayPal or PayPal alternatives in their local currency.
Frequently asked questions
In Technical writing, a writer writes to a specific audience providing instructions to use/install/maintain a specific product. It is the purpose, audience, and writing style that separates technical writing from other forms of writing.
The main difference between technical writing and creative writing is the reason for which a document is created. The creative is to writing is to entertain the audience while technical writing is to educate the audience.
When I started my career as a technical writer, the first thing I learnt was to write simply. A technical writer should write instructions in an active voice and in a language that can easily be understood by everyone.
The purpose of technical writing is to inform people about a product or service, while general writing can include fictional writing that is written for the sole entertainment of the audience.