How My Day Job Has Made Me a Better Writer

Writing is a funny business.

We all know this. It’s a funky combination of emo artistry, social climbing, and snake-oil salesmanship. Now with the internet, we all get a ringside seat to the various shenanigans. The word “professionalism” gets bandied about a lot. Unfortunately, the people who seem to use it the most, often wielding it like a club to silence detractors, are the least professional at all.

From time to time I’ve bemoaned my corporate day job. For a number of years now I’ve been working towards supporting myself as a full-time writer. I’m lucky to work for a company whose mission I believe in and who treats me well. I’ve been with them coming up on 15 years. I’ve learned a great deal over the years, about dealing with colleagues, with clients and all the delicate balances of the corporate world.

I’ve realized recently that, as much as I’ve wished I’d spent the last 15 years writing instead of in this career, what I’ve learned will make me a better writer overall. So, I’m going to spend the next week or so exploring some of these lessons. Things like:

1) Understanding billable hours and being good at knowing how long something will take to do.

2) Taking advantage of leave time, because you need it.

3) Accountability and working with other people.

4) Working when you don’t want to.

5) Professional relationships – remembering the boundaries

6) Teamwork – dealing with edits and QA/QC

Let me know if you all have other topic ideas. I might even host some guest bloggers, if you have a particular tale to tell along these lines.

Should be fun!

5 Replies to “How My Day Job Has Made Me a Better Writer”

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