100 Nano-Stories Later. . .
“I am willing to put myself through anything; temporary pain or discomfort means nothing to me as long as I can see that the experience will take me to a new level. I am interested in the unknown, and the only path to the unknown is through breaking barriers, an often-painful process.” ~Diana Nyad.
How did your favorite material science and nanotechnology enthusiast/researcher begin his story? I started my journey in Nanotechnology when I looked more into what was holding back the development of space technologies. One of these problems was the lack of advanced materials and the ability to scale the materials to an industrial level.
For a month, I looked into all the sectors of nanotechnology. Once I was done researching, I realized that I was interested in nanomaterials. Like, A LOT. I went as far as to make my own materials. An example is Starlite: a thermally insulating material.
After doing many experiments and research, I fell in love with two materials: aerogel and graphene. For me, these two materials had the potential to shift several industries completely.
So I began to build my knowledge with online courses and textbooks, but I realized something was missing. I needed a way to both understand what I was learning and share the knowledge with the world. I believe that nobody should be restricted to knowledge. So I made it a goal for myself to teach people about nanotechnology while I was learning.
I could spend years learning about nanotechnology, aerogels, and graphene for years, or I could learn the fundamentals while teaching others in 6 months. You know which option I chose by now. 😉
As I opened up my notebook, I was planning to create either Youtube Videos or make materials of my own, but I realized that I didn’t know the fundamentals of aerogel.
So the best option was to write what I learned and share it with my network and the world. But writing a book would take years to write and publish. So I decided to write the book on aerogels in public. Anyone could access the articles anytime as long as you have wifi and a Medium Account.
Now that I was ready to write, I began writing my intentions for the public book. I had to give a title to the book before opening a link. I took FOREVER to settle on a name. I was tied between “Chronicles of Aerogel” and “Bedtime Nano-Stories”. In the end, I chose “Bedtime Nano-Stories” as the initial name of the articles. However, as I kept writing more, the name was changed to “100 Nano-Stories” because, well, it’s 100 articles. . . 😂
If you want to master something, teach it. ~ Richard Feynman.
Medium Account Created. Idea Board ready. Digital Book Tab Open. Ready To Write History. ✍🏽
The first thing to realize was that I needed a specific audience. I could either target scientists or the average Joe-blow. However, there are more average people than scientists/professors/researchers. In conclusion, I would target the average person as my audience for “100 Nano-Stories”.
The next thing to realize was that I need to know what the audience craves and loathes about writing content. If I wanted to draw a crowd towards me, I would have to learn what the audience truly wants. Obviously, I wrote the book in public so anyone can have access and give me feedback on the spot.
However, I did my research, and I realized that people want the facts immediately. People hate it when you build up suspense to tell what you want to say. I decided to make the length of each article between 3–7 minutes long because this time range holds these qualities/benefits:
- Hold’s readers engagement due to the length.
- People have 3–7 minutes to read an article AND understand what they wrote.
- It challenged me to explain something very technical and explain it simply with only a limited amount of time.
- Personally, I hate reading long things
The next intention to worry about was how I would hold the reader's engagement, despite the time length of the article not being an issue.
The answer? Create your own way of writing. Medium has a MILLION different combinations that you can write, but only the most innovative will stand out. So I decided to combine English Writing with Creative Writing to turn “100 Nano-Stories” into, well. . . a story about aerogel, graphene, nanotechnology, and how valuable these materials will be in the future.
However, as “100 Nano-Stories” progressed, the articles became more and more mature since there was more hype in my attempt to educate the public about nanotechnology and advanced materials.
Here is an example of when I first started:
This is a more mature version of “100 Nano-Stories”:
The final (and most important) intention was how can I use this public book to my advantage in the future. The best part about writing a public book is that you’re in control of what goes on the pages and how you want to explain something. It can be intuitive, simple, or technical.
However, the main reason why I started writing in the first place was for my future self to have a place to find information or fundamentals explained simply so that if I forgot something, I have somewhere to go (with links to additional resources).
So in the end, I was learning about nanotechnology + advanced materials, teaching the world about material science, and storing knowledge for my future self at the same time! Good investment, me! 😁
I think I should reward myself. . . 🤷🏽♂️
Closing Thoughts! 💭
Okay, shut up, me. You’re special, but NOT that special.
Anyways, hope that helped answer some of the questions you were waiting for me to answer about the digital book. I will publish another section called “Writing Tips” soon. It will discuss some of my lessons and techniques that I believe can help anyone with writing.
See you soon for the release of the final two episodes of “100 Nano-Stories: Bookmarked!”
P.S. Is it just me, or do I hear crying? 🤷🏽♂️
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© 2021 by Carlos Manuel Jarquin Sanchez. All Rights Reserved.