Of course I would love to fulfill my lifelong dream, ever since that Journalism course in Toronto at Centennial College, of writing a fiction novel. Sure, I have a draft manuscript, thousands of notes on other ideas, and even a good murder/mystery plot at hand, however, I just do not have the time to sit down on a daily basis and pound out the pages. Now I write tech stuff.
So, tech articles seems to fill the literary gap I have a yearning for these past years.
As Editor for SCUG Report, I mostly cut and paste, size and resize, chase people for articles, and of course write the odd thing myself. For me, this is a simple matter of time, yet I do enjoy this function immensely.
Another writing project I have on hand is my technology column in Business Trends magazine. Each month I have to research tons of data and come up with some article that not only makes sense, but is technically correct. These two things are a challenge.
First of all, who am I writing for, or rather who is the audience that reads this stuff? This is important, as I cannot write about a Linux system bio, when most people are hammering away on Microhoweversoft Exploring software. How do I know that what I write is for the “average” user, a term my editor used when I got hired.
Ah ha! My wife. Yes, she is quite literate in writing, and illiterate in computers. So, she is the perfect candidate for editing my columns. I do not have to worry as when she reads them, basically she is reading similar to how the “average user” would read the articles. If she has not a clue as to what is being said, well then its back to the “drawing board” again to rewrite the article to make more sense.
“Writing”, it is said, “is a very lonely occupation.”
No kidding. You read alone to get your research fine-tuned, you draft your article alone, in an effort to get a final copy…But the fun part is banging ideas off other computer geeks…This is where the real learning takes place.
Once I connect with these geeks, ideas flow and finally I come away with tons of new ideas, writer block gone and back in the grove once more.
Tech writing is certainly not Hamlet’s cousin, however I do have some other ideas on the back burner – an outdoor, backpacking, canoe book? Who knows…maybe Hemmingway will give me a nod in the right direction soon.
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