Instead of writing fiction, I’ve been trying my hand at tech related articles for How Stuff Works. Here’s the first to make it to print (or screen, in this case):
I have a couple of others in the works, too. The downside is that everything I write about, I immediately want to buy, so I should probably stick my credit cards in the freezer right now to avert bankruptcy.
There are some major upsides, though. I am a technology addict, and I work in IT, but I’ve always been more of a code monkey than a hardware person. I’ve only twice opened up my computer - a fact that fills me with shame, but that is mostly fear-driven. I think about accidentally frying the boards with static electricity and chicken out. Each article is giving me a better understanding of what’s inside the black boxes that are my computing devices, and now I have a strong urge to crack open my laptop and replace most of its innards. After backing up all the data, of course.
The work is also reviving and improving my research skills, and giving me all sorts of writing ideas. So the lesson in all of this is to research something about which you are not an absolute expert and then write about it. At best, you’ll learn something new and become an accomplished researcher. At worst, at least you’ll be writing.
Now I need to go try out my newly honed research skills on a couple of stalled story projects.