I had a teacher way back in junior high school who encouraged all of her students to write. She did it in a way that felt personal, like I was the one she had high hopes for.
I enjoyed writing so much that I got an English degree from a great private college in Idaho, called Northwest Nazarene. I was sitting in the computer room on campus one day, working on an essay, when the school’s Public Relations man stopped by and said, “Oh, hey, Vince, want to write for the local newspaper?”
Of course I did! And as I wrote for the paper, the editor taught me about news copy editing, which I loved almost as much as writing. In those days, we made pages manually, meaning we literally cut sections and pasted them onto the page forms with glue. It was a powerful feeling to have that kind of creative impact.
But newspaper jobs don’t tend to pay very well, and I moved on.
Years later, I was working for a high tech firm that made testers for the computer chip industry. They were revamping their circuit board failure tracking database, and asked if I could help them align their documentation with their actual processes. What a thrill it was to disassemble all of those process documents, and re-design and re-write them. When I was done, I asked if I could look over the database user-interface manual, which was pretty vague. So I re-wrote that document, too.
I was on a roll!
Then the industry collapsed, and everyone was laid off.
Now that I’m a self-published author, I see just how many people are self-publishing, and how many of them could use a little constructive criticism. And that is why I am here.