Working as a Lone Technical Writer

A survey of the job scene in India states that there are many organizations that have only one technical writer. We can call this as the single writer scenario.

Advantage of Being a Lone Writer

Being a single write is extremely challenging and a very crucial position.

  • You get the opportunity to shoulder the responsibilities of planning, writing, editing, and other activities/tasks related to documentation.
  • There is no scope for ego clashes.
  • You may ample learning opportunities as there is a wider scope of work.
  • It is good for those who prefer working alone:
    • Some people find it easier to work alone than in a team.
    • Some others like to work independently with no one to compete with.
    • Yet others like to be on their toes all the time and do all the tasks themselves.

Disadvantages of Being a Lone Writer

Being a single writer is challenging as, but it also has some disadvantages which translate into advantages when working in a team.

  • Apart from writing, you also have to take up the responsibility of planning, quality testing, editing, etc. You will have no backup or a helping hand for these activities.
  • You are expected to do the tasks you are responsible for and take on more.
  • Your performance may not be gauged appropriately.
  • There may not be anyone to peer-edit and proof read the documents for accuracy, language, style, and format.
  • You may miss the opportunity to share best practices in technical writing.
  • It may become difficult to implement documentation processes, just for one person.
  • You may be a star performer, but there will be no benchmark to compare your performance with.
  • You have to handle different projects at various stages of completion on your own. It brings in a lot of pressure, stress, and tension.
  • You will have to undergo a lengthy learning curve. You will have a tough time if you are expected to create standards, processes, project plans, self-edit, figure out the training requirements, communicate with engineers in the product development/quality teams, etc. to name a few.
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