As a freelance technical writer, I’ve learned to consolidate the myriad words people throw at me for their requested project. It’s a valued – and necessary – attribute, since people are always in such a hurry these days and want quick answers to even the most complex of matters.
For example, a few years ago a client contracted me to develop a troubleshooting guide. They digitally handed me a slew of documents; literally a mish-mash of typed and handwritten notes about a software upgrade they wanted for their external customers.
“I need as much of this condensed as you possibly can,” the project manager instructed. The software users were busy people (in the tech world?!) and no one had time to fumble through reams of (digital) paper. “No pressure,” she added reassuringly.
Of course! No pressure. What’s that? This was a troubleshooting guide, after all – not a historical romance.
Thus, I scrounged through the morass of information for a few days and – as difficult as it was – I actually managed to fit all the verbiage onto one page:
Odd, but I haven’t heard from them since.