Non-Academic

A day in the life of our writers – Michelle

A day in the life our our writers

With boundless energy and imagination, writing does seem to be the perfect job for me. Though I won’t consider myself to be a “legit” writer (yet), I find myself enjoying writing pieces about businesses and industries that seem to be very distant yet somehow manages to impact me. Moreover, I get to do it without needing to leave the house! (Imagine how much time and money I save!)

  

My day usually starts at around 7 AM. It is my personal preference to do most of the writing during the morning as I find myself to be more focused at this time. I literally get out of bed, manage my hygiene (yes, I still do that), make myself a cup of coffee, then go straight to the dining room which is now dubbed as “my work spot”. I usually start work by checking both the CRM, the tool we use to manage work, as well as Skype, just to see if there are pending messages. Once I know the topic to write about, I surf the internet to learn more, as well as to find the appropriate data required by the piece. This can go on for probably 6 hours, depending on how complicated the requirement is. Once I have a good feel of the topic, I begin by writing an outline. Filling it can be tedious, especially if there are a lot of important details, but this is usually my favorite part. I usually work for around 8 hours per day, with breaks in between.

First, it gives me the flexibility to control my time.

 There are a handful of awesome things about this job. First, it gives me the flexibility to control my time. Although working for a total of 8 hours is necessary, I can allocate the work hours throughout the day. This allows me to do errands, go to the gym, have lunch with my friends etc. on hours that are not as traffic (hehe!), decreasing the amount of time I waste on the road. Second, I get to learn a lot of interesting things about the world. Given that the topics are random, it gives me a broader knowledge on areas that I won’t even think of researching about. I’ve actually developed a lot of my own ideas from researching for this job. Third, I don’t have to deal with working with other people (haha!). It is easier for me to manage my schedule, expectations, and time when I work alone. It allows me to feel more productive as I don’t have to deal with office politics and administrative processes! Lastly, it gives me the time to focus on my life outside work. Given that the tasks are manageable, writing doesn’t suck out my life from me. This is a type of job that still allows me to develop other relationships, competencies and hobbies outside work. I’m actually interested in taking French classes next year and this job allows me to do that.

A big chunk of it involves time management and missing human interaction.

Although this job is mostly good, there are some challenges about writing that I’ve initially struggled with. A big chunk of it involves time management and missing human interaction. Time management is crucial to this job as there are deadlines for these reports. Being able to manage my time while still ensuring that I produce quality work involves a lot of prioritizing. Despite being “free” to go out to lunch or to have massages within the day, it takes discipline to not overdo it. With regard to missing human interaction, I guess there are just moments when I’m down and look for someone on the same boat with me. Most of the time, given that I’m alone, I just manage my thoughts/feelings on my own or wait for my friends to finish work before I can share. That’s not fun, especially when you’re in a crisis situation.

  

Writing, in this format, may not be a “conventional” job, but I sure am happy that I’ve stumbled upon it. More than anything, it broadens up my world while still allowing my to control a huge chunk of my time. Although there are tradeoffs, I don’t feel that they’re as big as those of a “real” job’s. (I honestly can’t imagine commuting for 3 hours a day to sit on a desk and act like a normal office worker.) There reasons make this job extra perfect for me.

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