Scott Harris is an award-winning writer and editor with instincts honed in the newsroom. Whether it’s a leading media outlet or nonprofit organization, Scott has a proven ability to bring clarity to complex subject matter for both general and expert audiences.
He holds a B.A in Journalism from the University of Maryland.
Scott’s a writer through-and-through. Writing is also his hobby. When he’s not doing freelance work for clients, he writes fiction, mainly sci-fi and magical realism. He’s had a few short stories published lately and he’s “chipping away at a novel”.
Scott says his lifestyle could be considered atypical. He’s a vegan, meaning he doesn’t eat any animal products of any kind (“unless I’m hanging out with my daughters and they can get me to crack – I’m not made of stone!”). He’s also a minimalist, which he says, “basically just means I try to keep unimportant possessions to a minimum”. Fun factoid: Scott only owns one chair.
Why we love Scott
Scott is approachable, witty, and always up for a good conversation. He often has the right word when a fellow member (this author included) has writer’s block. His commitment to living a minimalist life is right in line with Cowork Frederick’s values and communal ways. We share things like printers, staplers, and even chairs (haha), so we don’t all have to own one. Scott fit in from day one.
Q&A with Scott
How did you get into writing?
I’ve always been a writer, and not just as a job. Those instincts predate even my conception of a career choice. For example, in second grade we were all tasked with writing a Christmas poem, and the teachers made me go to other classrooms to read mine. It was embarrassing in the moment but it stuck with me. Here’s something I do, I thought, something I like and other people like, something that appears to carry benefits.
What inspires you and keeps you going?
What keeps me going? I have no idea, haha. Because I have to pay child support? Honestly, I think it might be the fact that I have a curious mind and a rather active imagination, and my work gives me a place to “put” those things. It’s rewarding to help people communicate, especially on topics that are important to their audiences. And I like that there are little pieces of me living in random corners of the internet. If some little scrap of what I write outlives me, I’ll be a happy man.
Cowork Frederick members are a little unconventional. How does that apply to you?
It feels weird to be all “look at me, I’m a rebel!” But I do think the shoe fits. What can I say? I consider myself an individual, and I’ve always had an affinity for others with a similar bearing. In work I’m lucky to be able to tell the stories of people who pursue a unique version of the American dream. I’d like to believe that if I ever came across my own story, I’d want to tell it.
Which of the guiding values defined by Cowork Frederick members speaks to you?
EXCELLENCE. Not because I achieve it every time but because it’s a North Star in whatever I do. My line of work doesn’t lend itself to mere adequacy; freelancers are far too expendable for that. Sometimes artists enrobe themselves in their artistness, as if that magically protects them from expectations or scrutiny. But it can’t and it doesn’t, not if you really want to do something with it. I know that if I want to keep doing something with mine, I have to chop wood every day.
Any tips for other / future writers?
Everyone says don’t work for free. But I’d suggest bending that rule if there’s something out there you really feel called to pursue. You don’t have to wait for someone to offer you money before you’ll go after something that you love or that you think you might love. I’m not saying work for free all the time forever. Just don’t let money be your only guide.
Why Cowork Frederick?
I really like working at home, but I was spending too much time alone. I joined Cowork Frederick for the social component and that’s what keeps me coming back. The balance between work and play is exactly what I needed. People know when to socialize and enjoy one another’s company, while also understanding that it’s a workplace like any other. There’s a time and a place for everything, and Cowork walks that line really well. I can definitely say I have a richer social life as a result of my time here.