Working with Engineers

The NSA FilesFor my day job, I write technical articles aimed at design engineers in mechanical, electrical/electronics, fluid power, materials, software, etc. Since I have an engineering background, I’ve talked with a lot of these people over the years. The more I talk with them, the more fascinated I am about how committed and interested they are in what they do. I understand that. Writing, for me, has become that thing that I study and work at every day. When I was an engineer, I felt the same way about that.

 

Creative people are the most fun to talk with. I know that people like to separate the humanities from the sciences, but they are so very much the same for those actually applying them. There is a technical aspect to writing as well as there’s a creative aspect to engineering. The language of technology, the way things work, has its own nuances. Each engineer might approach an end product – like a control system – differently, but still end up with a quality product. Each writer may approach a genre – like romance or science fiction – differently, but still end up with a quality product.

 

Engineers are responsible for so many of the things we have today that it would be impossible to list them all. They create something from nothing. They wonder about the world, about other people, about what might be useful or interesting. And then they go out and find a way to create that.

 

As technology advances, engineering advances. With every new creation by one designer, there is a ripple affect that moves throughout the industry, then crosses over and ripples through other industries as well. If a component is designed for the auto industry, it can often be used in the medical industry, or the oil and gas industry, or in the aerospace industry. Even the tiniest advancement can change whole industries.

 

This concept crosses over into writing, as well. That’s why there is so much talk about cross-genre novels, about multimedia works where the internet is integral to the book. That’s why authors create video trailers, play lists, and radio interviews. And similar to engineering, new things are being created. There are now blog books, and twitter books. As the world around us changes, we change with it, and so do our habits. This doesn’t mean that I stop reading standard books, nor does this mean that we stop using nuts and bolts when building things. It means we have more choices. And that’s a good thing.

Ten Months In WonderlandTerry Persun writes in many genres, including historical fiction, mainstream, literary, and science fiction/fantasy. He is a Pushcart nominee. His latest poetry collection is “And Now This”. His novels, “Wolf’s Rite” and “Cathedral of Dreams” were ForeWord magazine Book of the Year finalists in the science fiction category, and his novel “Sweet Song” won a Silver IPPY Award. His latest science fiction space opera is, “Hear No Evil”, his latest fantasy is “Doublesight”, his latest mainstream/literary novel is “Ten Months in Wonderland”.

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