Want to hear something scary? No, not scary like Five Nights at Freddy’s. More like disturbing. Alarming. Even depressing.
I used to write articles about:
How to protect yourself from necrotizing fasciitis
How to escape from an airplane safety slide
How to tell if you’ve been poisoned by sushi
Whether runners could benefit from platelet-rich plasma surgery
How much alcohol you should drink
Why the rate of concussions is higher among women
Now, what makes this admission scary is that I’m not a surgeon. And I’m not a nurse practitioner, physical therapist, or chiropractor.
In fact, I’ve never had any medical training in my life — nor have I ever slid down an airplane safety slide!
Horrified yet? Well, just wait. Because medical advice was not the only thing I used to freely dispense as a web writer.
I used to write articles about child injury law, start-up culture, buying an apartment in New York City, and so on. And I have absolutely no training, experience, or knowledge in any of those areas.
But what’s the big deal, you say? Journalists write about topics they’re not experts in all the time. They simply craft a story from expert sources and authoritative studies. What’s wrong with that?
However, the difference between what I was doing and what a journalist does is that I hardly had time to spell-check, let alone hunt down actual experts, studies, or statistics. Who would when you need to crank out 5 to 10 of these 500-word articles each week?
Sadly, the only knowledge I