It’s been 20 years since I removed my wristwatch. I had experienced a run of stressful life events and was living in constant overdrive when I heard a radio talk show host espouse the idea that watches contribute to high anxiety. He used the example of being late for an appointment, stuck in traffic, and how each glance at your watch increased adrenaline even though there was nothing you could do. It seemed easy enough. Get rid of the watch and enjoy instant calm. Well … not quite. At first I was breaking my neck to see the kitchen clock, turning on the TV to catch the time and continually checking my car clock while driving. And I was always asking others for the time. Then I started to play a little game. Whenever I wanted to know the time, I made a mental guess. At first, I was off by 10-15 minutes, but soon I surprised myself by how accurate I could be. Turns out, the less you rely on clocks, the more you develop your internal sense of time. Who knew?
One of the first assumptions people make when they discover I’m a writer is that I only write about familiar subjects. When they learn I cover just about anything – from robotics, big data and image-guided surgery to education, the chemical industry and home décor – they question how it’s possible. The answer is easy. As a content developer, the most important step is finding the right subject matter expert. Then you have to ask great questions – and never be afraid to pose a stupid one. Of course, it pays to do research ahead of time and come prepared with intelligent queries. But once you understand how important the interview is to the writing process, literally no topic is out of reach.