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Background

Back when this site was in beta, the "professional" aspect of writing was the main intent of the site. The goal was to create questions about publishing, editing, and professional writing, but as time has passed the site has changed along with the nature of its questions and users.

Why we need to update some help pages

All across the help pages, there are statements that don't really include writers in Writing SE who write as a hobby or art rather than a profession. It shouldn't matter why we write, it should only matter the quality of our questions and answers. I feel that only phrasing this site as a site for "professionals" is unfair, anyone who can write and who can be a good example of a good user should feel welcome. In this post, I will point out some of them, but I feel as a community we need to go through and update some places in some of our help pages.

A good example

In the section of the Help Center, What topics can I ask here?, there is a paragraph that states:

Writing Stack Exchange is a question-and-answer site for authors, editors, technical writers, reviewers, bloggers, journalists, and professional and aspiring writers of all types. If you are new to the Stack Exchange network, you might want to check out our short tour.

(bold mine)

This is good. We should and welcome all types of writers, professional, aspiring, and just for fun ones.

We need to update some bad examples to look like this one.

A bad example

The first paragraph of the tour states:

Writing Stack Exchange is a Q&A site for anybody interested in the craft of professional writing, editing, and publishing. We cover a wide variety of topics, including fiction, technical documentation, scholarly articles, business writing, non-fiction, scripts, and blogs. Writers Stack Exchange is built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about professional writing.

(bold mine)

Honestly, though, many of our questions aren't actually about "professional writing". Most are about writing when used as a hobby or art - which doesn't really fall into the category of "the craft of professional writing, editing, and publishing."

We need to update that sentence (and others) to fit the scope of our site and to welcome all of our users.

Proposal

I propose that we rewrite sentences like the bad example (I don't know who has the power to do that) to something that fits our graduated site better.

I will start by proposing an alternative sentence to the bad example but as I find more bad examples I will update this post and I encourage you to also.

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The other mods and I have agreed that the tour's intro needs some improvement. As well as the sentence you pointed out, there's an errant use of "Writers Stack Exchange" (the site's previous name), and the final sentence also focuses on "professional writing".

With that in mind, I've done a bit of copy-editing, and here is the new tour intro, with changes highlighted in bold:

Writing Stack Exchange is a Q&A site for anybody interested in the craft of writing, editing, and publishing, whether it's professionally, artistically, or as a hobby. We cover a wide variety of topics, including fiction, technical documentation, scholarly articles, business writing, non-fiction, scripts, and blogs. Writing Stack Exchange is built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about the craft of writing.

I am welcome to any further feedback on how this could be improved.

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The bad example sentence featured in the question:

Writing Stack Exchange is a Q&A site for anybody interested in the craft of professional writing, editing, and publishing. We cover a wide variety of topics, including fiction, technical documentation, scholarly articles, business writing, non-fiction, scripts, and blogs. Writers Stack Exchange is built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about professional writing.

could become:

Writing Stack Exchange is a Q&A site for anybody interested in the craft of writing, editing, and publishing as a profession, art, or hobby. We cover a wide variety of topics, including fiction, technical documentation, scholarly articles, business writing, non-fiction, scripts, and blogs. Writers Stack Exchange is built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about professional writing.

which is a small and easy change.

Please point out other bad examples so we can brainstorm alternatives.

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