Bytes to Bylines - My Unwritten Journey from Tech to Text

2 minute read

During interviews for podcasts or panels, I’m often asked what I’d do if I weren’t in tech. While I playfully consider taking up farming, the true answer is writing. This passion for writing has been a constant in my life, deeply rooted and contrasting with my professional journey in technology.

My fascination with technology began as a child with a Commodore 64 and GEOS, gifted by my supportive parents. This early exposure to tech didn’t overshadow my growing interest in writing, partly fueled by my voracious reading habits. Discovering my old attempts at journalism and editing, tucked away in basement boxes, brought back vivid memories of those formative years.

Just a boy with a Commodore 64 and GEOS

My first venture into writing was a self-made newspaper, created on that Commodore 64. Although short-lived, this initiative was a significant step, supported by my parents and teacher, Ms. Rhinehart. I remember my parents’ manual efforts in spellchecking (MANUAL SPELLCHECK!), centring images, and preparing the newspaper for printing – a testament to their support and my budding passion for writing.

The concept of sharing thoughts, akin to the early 90s web rings, captivated me, even before the era of blogs. This interest in disseminating information and ideas was a precursor to my later endeavours in writing.

Teen Board at the Sun Herald

A significant moment in my writing journey was my involvement with the Teen Board at the Sun Herald during my last year of high school in the U.S., after returning from Germany. This experience rekindled my love for writing and journalism, offering a sense of homecoming and reconnection with my early dreams on the Gulf Coast.

However, life had other plans. Struggling through high school with barely passing grades and facing uncertainties about my future, I enlisted in the Air Force, setting aside my aspirations in writing. Despite this, I continued to blog and write, accumulating numerous books and writings, a testament to my undying passion for the written word.

Reflecting on these experiences, I often ponder the “what-ifs” – what if I had pursued a career in writing instead of joining the military? What if certain life events, like Hurricane Katrina, hadn’t happened? These questions linger, underscoring the intricate web of choices and chances that shape our lives.

Yet, the enduring question remains: What if I had just been a writer?

Second Grade News Paper

Sun Herald Teen Board