As I go about my day-to-day business, I am increasingly countered by inquisitive questions from oblivious acquaintances on the job description of a content writer. Having come to realize that most of our elders and some of our peers are by-and-large unaware of the daily workings of a content writer, I take upon myself the onus of explaining what a content writer does throughout the day. Readers with other, more conventional professions will agree that the routine doesn’t differ by much of a stretch. Here goes…
Wake up. Curse loudly looking at the time. Realizing that present situation calls for premature squeezing of creative juices, invent a unique explanation to mollify superiors on late-coming while keeping track of yesterday’s excuse.
Reach office. Hastily log yourself in and open email account to confront client’s ironic messages on whether or not the demanded content will be delivered in the better part of the century. Procrastinate in opening the ‘Tasks for the Day’ email your boss has sent, thinking the morning is still too cheery to dampen your spirits yet.
Finally muster the courage to open the dreaded mail. Immediately start wailing loudly about stone loads and slave labour to anyone who would care to listen. Sympathetic content writers shouldering similar burdens immediately join the crescendo.
Well on your way towards writing the 4th article on the same keyword, trying to imbibe yet another angle to the ‘chimney sweeping services’ you have been appraising. Phase is abundantly complemented with exchange of sorrowful looks with other computer-glued condemned and munching crisps and cola in the hope that self-metabolism would somehow convert them into much-needed creativity.
Break arrives. Tear open tiffin boxes with a hyena’s raucousness and like warrior-poets, squeeze as much joy and enjoyment as possible out of the precious 45 minute period. Gossiping and squabbling about sitcoms and shopping follows. Male content writers leave vicinity in disgust, opting for seedy office corners where they immediately engage in manlier pursuits of gossiping and squabbling about weapons and video games.
Back to bedlam. Upon realizing that most foreign clients, whose day starts with shooting uncomfortable questions to content providers, have finally put away the night cap, get typing with a vengeance.
Get a gruff ‘good’ of appreciation from boss or client after a particularly well-written blog. Spend the next 10 minutes basking in the compliment, reading and re-reading mail/chat. Realize what a great boss/client you’re blessed with. Immediately reverse notion after terse reminder to stop dilly-dallying and get back to work.
Finished with most of the write-ups. Get angry mail from client demanding reiterations on long-forgotten copies. Give stuttering apologies while inwardly fantasizing about baboons feasting on said client’s innards.
Get to work on reiterations, muttering sullen undertones about imbeciles and creativity-convenience gaps. Keep glimpsing at watch with increasing agitation, eagerly awaiting the stroke of the leaving hour.
Put finishing touches to copies, pat yourself on back for finishing work ahead of schedule. Sit back, lavishly scratch privates and look forward to a good hour of surfing comic blogs and viral videos.
Too conspicuous in display of idleness. Boss’s inner sensei weeds out possible non-performing member of herd, singles you out and fires another task, ominously titled ‘Urgent’. Curse self. Curse boss. Curse neighbour’s dog for no particular reason.
5:50 – 6:30 pm
Like a dying soldier limping towards mother country, laboriously finish with required content. Attach and mail to boss/client. Meanwhile, keep playing a mental loop of Mel Gibson’s freedom speech from Braveheart. Maintain stoic composure as you tell superior you’re done for the day. Bid sadistic farewells to less fortunate colleagues. Suppress a giggle on the way out.
The aforementioned emotions and attitudes mostly remain static, only changing in varying degrees of intensity. What changes is the subjective content that is put on the plate of a content writer. One could be concocting travel articles on Monday, rewriting infrastructure-oriented articles on Tuesday, dishing out news articles the third day and finishing the week with editing (while cursing responsible writers). And while the material may not exactly be food for thought every time, it does make for some healthy variety, which is one of the key elements of this job.