I don't think it's growing or dying in this economy. In normal economic times, it's likely a growth industry. If you can combine writing technical documentation and developing training materials, you have a good shot.
Technical writing is hard to outsource to the BRIC because you have to write very clear English. Most of the stuff we get back from India is very difficult to decipher. That puts load on support engineers, which is not cost-effective.
I would recommend starting a portfolio with technical writing samples. You can write documentation for existing software applications your own way. We are always asked for samples when we interview, so you should invest some time in writing some. It doesn't matter that they're not on the job documents.