Thursday, January 06, 2011

summing up a painful few weeks

Today, I hit saturation. And there’s only one way to describe today. It was like a punishment. Okay not like a punishment. It was a punishment.

First: I had to sit in a different room, isolate myself from the din, just so I could get some semblance of work done and make my very cluttered and heavy plate that much lighter.

Second: I had to open the dreaded case study document for the millionth time. These case studies are going to be the death of me. I have looked at them for one entire month. And made no progress. ZILCH. NADA. Nothing.

Third: I actually enjoy writing case studies. There’s a joy in crafting them in a way that perfectly brings out just the right amount of information, value and insights. But this particular assignment is peculiar. It brings together an unclear brief, badly written raw material, inadequate time and the whammy: the project managers all important opinion. Thrust very roughly down my throat. And no, I don’t take well to being forced to think a certain way.

Fourth: Multiple iterations and constant back and forth in trying to get the piddly 150-word feature right was more than an ordeal. It was, to repeat the word that has sparked off this rant, a punishment. Between highlighting the insights I believe are important, the insights I think the client would like me to highlight (based on prior experience), and also coping with internal feedback, I have had just about enough. And I am ready to call it quits. I mean, a simple case study cannot be so hard to get right. Especially since Iv done so many of them before. And rather well. Or so I thought. Until today. And that brings me to the fifth and final point.

Fifth: I have come to the conclusion that perhaps Im not a good writer after all. Or maybe Im not cut out to be a writer at all. Being good at something comes later. One has to be able to do it first. Today has led me to believe I cant write.

And for someone that has been writing in some form or the other for as long as she can remember, that’s not an easy realization to digest. More so, if she has decided five years ago that this is what excites her most, and this is what she will make a career out of. More so if she has done similar kinds of writing and been appreciated for it, enough to believe that she can write. And she can write well.

So I find myself sitting here in the office, all alone in a room, trying to gather my thoughts. And I cannot recognize myself anymore. Im going over this post again and again, trying to think where is the Revati I know? The one who was blogging with a vengeance? The one who was writing letters all the time? The one who loved words and sentences and crafting them? The one who was self employed. As a writer, I might add.

Where has my confidence gone? And that thing called self esteem? It seems to have flown out the window too. Have I come here to have my confidence ripped to shreds and be made to feel like the joy of doing something you love can actually feel like a punishment sometimes? What about the 5 years I have been through then? I have been through a fewwwwww jobs. And when I say few like that, sense the sarcasm. I mean a lot of jobs. I have worked with several varying organizations, with people and eccentricities of all kinds. I have even worked in segments and on accounts of all kinds. And in the 5 years I have realized things about myself. I suck at creatively writing cheeky headlines. I suck at cracking campaigns. I suck at advertising writing. But I know what Im good at. I am good with content. I am good at writing content and managing it in a way that makes it sensible and coherent.

In my experimental years of jumping jobs and looking for the thing I loved, I have gone through these very same feelings I feel today. But with a difference. I didn’t know where my heart actually was. I didnt know my strengths. But today, I know. I know this is not for me. I didn’t come here to try my hand at something I knew I cannot do. I didn’t come here to be made to feel like I cant write just because a few people and a few accounts dont match my style of thinking and writing. And I most certainly didn’t come here to turn everyday into a punishment. I came here to find work that would challenge me, excite me and satisfy me. The work is challenging, yes. But is it exciting? Does it satisfy me? NO. Far from it actually.

So I have made up my mind. My life, my skills and my talent is far too precious to be wasted in endeavours that leave me feeling low on self confidence and self worth. As recently as 2 months ago, I was using my brains and my creative skills in helping people building educational websites, travel websites, sales brochures and industrial design books. And I loved it to bits. Whats better? I could work on my time and schedule and still get to do everything else that I have realized I love. I could cook. Work out. Go to the beach. Read. Watch TV. Sketch. Be a home maker. And I think I want that all back.

Am I deciding too soon? Perhaps. But Im going to stick this out till its meant to, and get through my days knowing that life has better plans for me. And Im going to let life take me there.


Ranjan Atreya said...

:| dislike

Karishma Sundaram said...

:-( Good God! Don't let an upstart erode your self-confidence. You're an awesome writer.

akshay said...

you're quitting aa?

you'll turn into my parents.

hAAthi said...

ranjan: "dislike" it seems! haha.. i dislike it too..

k: a vicious-circle can do that to you, trust me!

akshay: i havent decided what im going to do, honestly. and your folks turned out fine, by the looks of it, so i wouldnt be worried :P

lekha said...

daaaaaaaaaaaa............ hang in there, trust me you will discover a lot about yourself through the experience and in the end whatever it may be up hill or down hill. It will all be worth it!