Re: becoming an author (long overdue)

Hello folks at Glover Middle School,

Going thru papers in my office, I re-discovered
a letter from Kristen Robertson in March 2000.

I don't know if she's still around, or if
you can forward this on to her... I'm sorry
I didn't respond to the letter.

In case it's still useful to anybody, here are
some answers to her questions:

| How long have you done your job?

Since March 1995.

| What training have you had to get hired for this job?

I have a Bachelor of Science degree from U.T. Austin,
and a bunch of software development experience before
and after. I had very good writing teachers in
grade school and high school.

Writing is hard. Even today, I have to work hard at it.
But writing a lot, and collecting constructive criticism
from peers, helps develop effective writing skills.

| What special skills do you need to be succesful for this job?

Umm... when I get successful, I'll let you know. ;-)

| What do you like about being an author?

I like sharing life with people at a distance,
and I like getting feedback. Feedback is so much
easier to get over the network; I don't know if
I would find sufficient motivation to write if
I didn't have the quick feedback mechanisms
of the net.

| What part don't you like about being an author?

In my job at W3C, I am often in a position of representing
the views of one group to another; occasionally I
am accused of "selling out" to one side or the other.
We all make mistakes of various forms, but when
people don't give me the benefit of the doubt that
I'm just trying to do what's right, I get quite

| Is this what you expect to be doing 5 years from now?

Wow... 5 years is a long time. I suppose my
job will involve quite a bit of writing,
whatever I am doing 5 years from now.

| What advise would you give me to help prepare for this job?

Read a lot. Write a lot. Be open to feedback
and criticism.

If you want to do creative writing, write from your
own experience. It's about sharing experiences.
Don't try to pretend you know about something that
you don't know about.

p.s. Please let me know when you get this letter,
and let me know if there's much of a chance that
it will reach Kristen.

p.p.s. is a mailbox that feeds
a public archive for future reference.

Dan Connolly, W3C

Received on Friday, 25 January 2002 22:51:44 UTC