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Adobe FrameMaker

Up and Down Directions

Jul 24, 2011 • family

Work has been up and down lately. I was distressed to see the new dress and grooming section for sister missionaries, as it seemed much more a fashion catalog than something designed for people entering spiritual service. But perhaps I overreacted, and my post on the internal social network led to quite a stir. In the end, I probably made more enemies than friends.

I've also been pondering the best way to go -- focus on writing, on screencasts, quick reference guides, tools, what? I have the flexibility to move in a lot of different directions, and after praying about it, decided it would be best to build on past successes. So I will be moving more towards screencasts and quick reference guides. This seems like a sure-fire method. I'm not sure if the volunteer community efforts will benefit from so much blogging.

Yesterday Shannon was out at a movie, so I had all four kids. I was pretty calm and patient most of the day, but eventually, with screaming and yelling and fighting, I snapped and yelled at them, and then locked them in their room. I sat down in my room and felt like a monster -- guilty, a poor parent, lazy. Now I know how Shannon must feel when she yells at the kids. They push you to the brink of insanity, so your only recourse seems to be shouting. But then you very quickly realize it's not the solution, and it makes you feel like a failure of a parent inside. The solution to reducing Shannon's yelling is not to lecture her on how bad it is to yell, but to show empathy and care for the person who was just snapped into a yelling frenzy.

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.