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Up and Down Directions

by Tom Johnson on Jul 24, 2011 •
categories: 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 / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.