Thursday, September 22

Writing Block Cure

After nearly five years of study at Athabasca University, an English degree at that, I am still pursuing this endeavor to the end...if there is one. Writing technology articles is not my real forte, however it is becoming increasingly interesting and it is an amazing learning experience.

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.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home