Last year, I had the privilege of contributing to the 2nd edition of the highly regarded technical writing guidebook, The Technical Writing Process. The original edition was authored by Kieran Morgan back in 2015. To update it to the 2nd edition, Kieran took a collaborative approach to ensure it stayed relevant and reflected current best practices. He assembled a team of technical writers from around the world, each with their own areas of expertise, to work on assigned chapters. The benefits of this team-based approach was the ability to leverage each writer’s unique strengths, and to bring diverse perspectives to enrich the content.

Writing a chapter about reviewing

I was delighted to be invited to work on the book. I peer reviewed several chapters and I was the lead writer for the “Review Draft” chapter. In our world, writing is far from a solo pursuit—it’s a team sport! Nowhere is this more true than in the review phase.

The Review Draft chapter highlights the importance of peer, subject matter expert, and approver reviews in ensuring document quality. It covers core concepts such as review etiquette, including techniques for diplomatically giving and receiving feedback — critical to building good relationships with your colleagues. The chapter also discusses practical steps for a successful review process because sometimes it can feel like herding cats.

The collaboration process

We used Confluence to write the book and manage the project — which proved to be an excellent tool. We could write and comment within the same space, making it easy to tag relevant people and receive update notifications. Kieran did a fantastic job leading the project, facilitating meetings every two weeks across multiple time zones and meticulously documenting decisions.

Working with tech writers is its own reward

The most rewarding aspect for me was the opportunity to work alongside so many other passionate technical writers whom I may not have otherwise crossed paths with. Being part of a highly motivated group striving towards a unified goal was incredibly energizing. I thoroughly enjoyed contributing to the new edition of this book! If you ever have a similar opportunity to collaborate on a widespread industry resource, I highly recommend seizing it. It’s an enriching experience that leaves you with a deeper appreciation for the people driving our profession forward.

Grab your copy today!

The 2nd edition of The Technical Writing Process is available on Amazon now. I’m excited for others to benefit from the collective knowledge and insights we poured into this new edition. A big thank you to Kieran Morgan and all my fellow contributors for making this possible!

Authors: Alison Pickering, Amanda Butler, Caity Cronkhite, Felicity Brand, John New, Kieran Morgan, Steve Moss, Swapnil Ogale

📺 You can catch some of the team chatting about the book in this Good Words webinar: From How to Why: Insights on the Tech Writing Process from Industry Experts