Scripted Writer Mark T. on Freelance Writing, Data Science, and Being a Magician with Words
Scripted is filled with a diverse group of talented writers each with their own interesting story. From time to time we share some of those stories with you so you can get to know the writers you will work with or what you can expect should you choose the freelance writer life. Today we profile Mark T. from Chicago, Illinois. Mark has over 600 completed jobs on Scripted and is uniquely skilled in data-driven storytelling.
Get to Know Mark T.
What or who got you into writing? An experience, a teacher or favorite author?
Mark: I come from a long line of storytellers, stretching back to a royal forester for the King of Sweden. My grandfather came to America in the 1800s and disappeared into Native American lands, returning occasionally with truly unbelievable tales. My father was a magician and I strive to be a magician with words.
What topics are you most passionate to write about?
Mark: Science is wild and bizarre enough to make fiction unnecessary. Only the greatest authors, like Tolstoy and Kafka, can rival the intricate madness of mathematics. Data contains worlds within worlds of practical entertainment that can actually save lives.
Where is your favorite place to write? Do you have any writing rituals?
Mark: Strobe lights and concert level noise are really no bother when you care enough about the topic. I write out in the full stream of modern life. Writing is planning. Typing is only the mechanics of distributing it.
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What books, tools, websites have helped your writing the most?
Mark: Literature. Goethe suggested, “He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth.”
What is your favorite article that you wrote?
Mark: I write a great deal of confidential material that will never be publically available. In college, I wrote a newspaper column of first-hand attempts at extreme sports, an updated version of George Plimpton-style adventures, that brought as much fun as it did bruises. My favorite recent article was The Video Pivot because this issue deserves more critical attention.
Outside Mark’s Office
Describe a favorite client that you worked with?
Mark: I’m currently working for a client who is trying to teach AI how to be more ethical. Based on all the warnings from informed sources like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, this could be humanity’s most pivotal field of research at the moment.
What is the strangest writing assignment you’ve ever had?
Mark: For a good six months, I was tasked with developing meaningful titles for abstract art.
How does your writing career help you either creatively, personally, or financially?
Mark: I recently wrote an article on why the second decade of the 21st century may be the best time in recorded history to be a professional writer. It’s rather subjective but I believe I supported my argument with solid evidence.
Describe some of your passions outside of writing.
Mark: My passion is for my family, who have made it both possible and necessary to move mountains to become a full-time freelance writer. I owe them everything.