A year in retrospect

The past year has been by far the best and the busiest year of my career.

At the age of 29, I was working in a corporate workplace, one that I absolutely loved, as a project manager, a job I absolutely hated.

I had begun to dislike my job pretty early on in my career, I suppose – but the feeling had crept up on me slowly. I disregarded it for as long as I could, lulled by nice, fat pay-checks and truly wonderful company at work.

And then one day, the patient voice in my head that had been asking where-the-hell-are-you-going-with-this for many years, lost it and went ballistic. That’s when I listened. And soon after that, my job as a content manager at CV happened.

I took to CV right away. That first month, I went around telling everybody who would listen that I was actually being paid..PAID, can you believe it.. to do what I loved doing anyway! Here was a place where I could pick a document, circle all the errors, write a scathing review – and be appreciated for it. Finally, I was on home ground!

As the months progressed, I stepped off cloud nine, rolled up my sleeves and got down to business. There were many sobering moments – for one, the day my manager pointed out a basic grammatical error in my writing. I was not just embarrassed, I was mortified! But that day marked the beginning of my learning as a writer at CrackVerbal.

As an engineer and later as a project manager, my verbal skills had been just a quirk, just something that got me noticed occasionally. Now, they were all-important. I had always been a hungry reader who couldn’t make it through the day without reading a few pages of something, anything. Now, I began to read with purpose, to observe the way my favourite authors used words.

I learnt how to write for a web audience. I realized, none too happily, that I had to stamp out the urge to use big words just because they occurred to me. I learnt to stop writing sentences that ran into many lines, a la Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, and began to use full-stops before my sentences ran out of breath. Had I been wearing my content-manager garb right now, I might have felt compelled to split the previous sentence in two!

I realised what it was like to write with a deadline standing over my shoulder and tapping its feet. No more did I have the luxury of looking at every sentence and wondering how I could possibly make it better. No more the time to gloat over a well-turned line, as I was wont to do.

So, did all of this make me second-guess my career shift? Not even for an instant! I’m still thrilled that I am earning a living doing what I love, and slowly getting better at it. I do not know how far my skills can carry me, and I do not really know how good I am or how good I could be. But I mean to keep at it.