Name: Kirsten Nelson. Profession: Writer and Journalist. Member of Work Heights since 2015
WH: You’ve worked in quite a few fields of interest, including audio visual, motorcycles, future tech, as well as crafting your own fiction. What kind of writing do you really love to come to work to do?
I write about a few different things, but they have a common thread. My articles are all about fascinating people whose passion informs their work. I love writing stories that will help share my subjects' amazing dedication and talent. I'm lucky because pretty much all of my interview sources are super energized about what they're doing, whether they design scoreboards for football stadiums, develop robots, create VR content, run sound for amazing bands, or race super-bikes. And actually, the more I learn from my sources, the more excited I get about what they do. So basically I just keep learning about new things and then I get to translate all that passion into stories that will hopefully reveal the character of my sources and move people with their stories.
WH: Some of your writing includes very complicated tech and software. Is there a piece which was abnormally hard to break into understandable parts for your readers?
The toughest and maybe most rewarding article I had to write was a story about chatbots for Gear Patrol magazine. Having to explain what a chatbot is, first of all, and then explain that they exist mostly for entertainment, but these kind of AIs will eventually be the primary means by which we'll be communicating with technology... while also trying to show that the developers are quirky, the chatbots are cutely glitchy, and it's all okay because no one has to believe they're human anyway, was kinda nuts. Even now I can't concisely explain what chatbots are, other than bits of interactive distraction that provide machine learning data for AI developers.
WH: You have a love of motorcycles and often get to ride them in a press capacity. Do you have a favorite bike or experience in this part of your freelance work?
That's always going to be the Ducati Monster 797, which I had the opportunity to ride on the winding seaside cliffs of the Côte d'Azur in France. I'm still a new rider, so being able to have all the resources of Ducati to provide me with a safe and beautiful ride spoiled me for the rest of my life.
WH: Would you share a goal or two for your life and/or career in the next year?
I want to expand the number of type of outlets for my stories. I know a lot of people doing great things, and I want more people to know about them. I also want to either finally destroy my novel manuscript or turn it into the robot romance novel it's meant to be.
WH: Finally, you’ve been a member of Work Heights for two years. What do you love about it?
I love how focused and energized I feel at my desk, surrounded by so many talented members of our community. Everyone has a lot going on professionally, and they work really hard. It creates a powerful vibe of productivity. Even if I have sort of a blah morning, once I get to my desk, I feel motivated to keep moving and get stuff done. As a freelancer I can work anywhere or anytime I want, but I love having a dedicated desk and co-workers who work similar daytime hours. My desk is my own reserved spot that's always there waiting for me, so when I arrive I can jump right into work without distractions.