Contrary to the common belief that writing is a solitary activity, the writing process is much more collaborative than you may think. In particular, technical writers need to interact with various clients and team members of all professional backgrounds and areas of expertise. From brainstorming to final edits, technical writers collaborate with others often.
Technical writers do not work in isolation. They require interpersonal skills because they are immersed in the business world. They work with developers, SMEs (subject matter experts), reviewers, and project managers throughout the work week. They also work with other technical writers to collaborate on a project. Many technical writing companies will have “kickoff” meetings for everyone to meet one another and brainstorm, creating a collaborative environment for all members of the team.
Throughout a project, technical writers work with various professionals. Small to medium enterprises often hire technical writers to craft business documents and content that address their needs. During the creation process, writers work with developers to create content geared toward the client or target audience. After the first drafts are finished, reviewers provide a fresh pair of eyes. Writers also work with project managers, who give insight and constructive criticism to keep the project on track. For larger projects, technical writers may team up to split the workload and combine their visions.
Another important part of the writing process is maintaining and developing good relationships. Whether technical writers are working with a group of people they are familiar with or a brand-new client, positive relationships are imperative. Negative, unprofessional relationships will only impede the client from sharing valuable insights. The more that technical writers develop positive relationships, the more information and insight they can glean from others.
Needless to say, there are many kinds of expertise required to produce a high-quality technical document. Technical writers must be willing to work with a myriad of people, whether it be a client or members of their own team. The level of collaboration with others shows in the quality of the writing, as technical writers who espouse a team-oriented approach are able to discuss their topic confidently, accurately, and thoroughly.