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Dear Viv
2005, Q3 (July 06, 2007)

Advice for the Discerning Technical Communicator

Dear Viv,

Technical writers can sometimes be uptight. What can we do to loosen up, yet not lose focus on what we’re dedicated to?


Focused, yet Fun

Dear Focused, yet Fun

What a breath of fresh air you are!!! I suspect that many chapter members share your sense of joie de vivre but repress such feelings for fear of appearing foolish. For introverts, coming out of one’s shell can be more painful than having kidney stones. It’s really that bad.

How *do* we loosen up? Do yoga before each meeting? Serve tequila? Unfortunately, no. The answer is games. Ding! That’s 10 points for Viv, Jack! Take a few minutes at the beginning of each meeting to play a quick game and break the ice. Some examples include Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, or my old favorite, $20,000 Pyramid. No one is forced to participate. These games aren’t terribly hard either, so there’s only a slight chance for public humiliation.

Give your suggestions to the programs manager, Terry Smith, and they might become reality.

Remember the sage advice from Roman satirist Horace: “Mix a little foolishness with your prudence: It’s good to be silly at the right moment.”

Dear Viv invites constructive criticism, solicitations for advice—any sort of response, really. Email Viv at: dear_viv at stc-carolina dot org. End of article.

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