I was working onsite in Brampton last Tuesday. And I was planning to go home in good time because there was a snowstorm moving in. But I got caught up in my work. I was making an analysis of all likely procedures for implementing a system. I was given a set of procedures but they were for different circumstances. Some didn’t seem to apply. Others applied some of the time. And some precluded others. If you were doing this, it didn’t make sense to do that. So I sorted them out into two cases. There was still a little confusion. Why would you do it such a way?
I took it back to my expert and we had a fruitful meeting late in the day. He pointed out that there were three cases. There was a simple install. There was recovery of backed-up systems or rollout of new systems from the server. And there was a complete restore of the server itself. Each of the cases implied a certain set of procedures in a certain order. Now it all made sense. I wanted to get the new analysis down on paper with procedures in the right places. Then the main tasks of each procedure. And the logical order of cases. There. It was almost 10 p.m. before I had everything neat, right, and backed up to the network.
You might think that technical writing is not creative. But in some ways—organizing information or deciding how to present it—it often is. And when inspiration strikes, it’s best to capture your insights of the moment rather than struggle to re-create them later.
When I left Brampton, a very pretty, fine snow was falling. I drove home carefully and safely on snow tires. And it worked out for me: by putting in too many hours on Tuesday, I was forced to stay away on Friday and miss its snowstorm and traffic chaos.