Tuesday, February 02, 2010

What I want to be when I grow up.

So, I am in my mid-30s and still I contemplate this question. Only, sometimes it is more like "what I want to be when my kids are in school". Because there is an assumption that them going to school will bring change to the way I work.

Maybe. Maybe not.

I've been working contracts and piecemeal writing gigs for 2.5 years now. It's given me the opportunity to write and edit a wide variety of material.

Before this, I was a technical writer and a technical editor. I loved technical editing, but was not as fond of the writing. It was good, but it didn't make my heart sing. And it is very, very stylized. Plus, each firm uses slightly different styles. But, technical writing brings in good money.

So, sometimes I take the jobs that are incredibly interesting and sometimes I take the ones that pay well. It's a juggling act.

I'm doing a technical writing gig right now. The people are nice and the company seems decent. The project is fairly short, but challenging. It's a nice balance.

However, I am reminded of the reasons I gave up the corporate world. Debates over who has the time to do something and who has what information are pretty common in this environment. I understand it and am patient, but a long-term commitment to this kind of situation would not be in the best interest of my own sanity. It was great to dress up today, but tomorrow I have no idea what I will wear. And surely by the end of the week I will miss my jammies. One of the big perks to working from home is an extended wearing of jammies when the mood strikes.

I've also spent the last couple of years experimenting with genres. From resumes to blogs to short articles and back to technical material. I've covered a lot of different writing. With the articles and blogging I have found what I lacked in the technical world: a voice. I have a writing voice. Who knew?

So, while I won't turn down the technical contracts that punctuate my working life. And I certainly produce a darn nice manual! I find that I miss the opportunities to use this newly found voice. And as I contemplate what I want to be when I grow up, I think more and more about projects that will use that voice to its fullest.

No comments: