Tag Archives: unprepared

On the wild trail: When you don’t feel prepared

Book cover: WildIn her best-seller Wild (which was recently made into a movie), author Cheryl Strayed recounts her experiences as a young woman hiking alone for 1,100 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. Although woefully underprepared when she began — a fact she readily admits — Strayed stayed the course and found the experience to be life altering.

As technical communicators, sometimes we’re thrust into jobs for which we feel underprepared. Maybe we land a new writing gig for which we don’t know the subject matter. Maybe we take on new roles and responsibilities to keep from being expendable. Maybe, as in the extreme example of Tina the Tech Writer, we have 45 minutes to learn how to be a database analyst.

When this happens to us, we might need to avoid the trap of the impostor syndrome. We can also learn from Cheryl Strayed’s experiences on the trail. Continue reading