Chapter 9: The writing process
The five main steps in the documentation writing process include (1) Planning (creating a doc plan, establishing roles), (2) Gathering information (interviewing engineers, product managers, etc.), (3) Writing (separating content into groups, outlining, scheduling reviews, writing the first draft), (4) Reviewing (reaching out to the right people, incorporating feedback, resolving conflicts), and (5) Publishing (integrating new content, adding metadata, coordinating timing, publicizing releases). This chapter provides practical tips in each writing step, such as recording engineering interviews, bringing questions to review meetings, and publicizing releases through newsletters. Although many other aspects of API documentation might seem more pressing, such as configuring your publishing toolchain, writing is still a core task technical writers do when creating API documentation.
About Tom Johnson
I'm an API technical writer based in the Seattle area. On this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, AI, information architecture, content strategy, writing processes, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out my API documentation course if you're looking for more info about documenting APIs. Or see my posts on AI and AI course section for more on the latest in AI and tech comm.
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