Why I am a wordsmith – Tag

Unmana tagged me to write about my job. Now I have loads I’d love to write about my workplace but I seal my lips because I don’t want to be dooced. But since this is about my career and not this particular place, here I go.

I’ve been writing for years. My grandma wrote for the publication that I write for, many years ago. It’s a sweet coincidence! So yes, I was her dream grandchild. Interested in reading and writing and poetry and she wanted me to be a lawyer or try for the IAS. Somehow that didn’t appeal to me.

Around Class 10 I began to work for the school magazine and by Class 12 was on the edit board. Once I got to college my love life took over and my extra curricular activities had nothing to do with college! It was either studies or the boyfriend.

And when it was time to graduate I suddenly realised I had no life plan. What was I going to do? I panicked and applied to a 5 star hotel and joined them on the Guest Relations side. That lasted 5 days. I hated being in uniform I realised. No offence to others, but something damn insulting about it as an adult, to my mind. Which is why I last did that post on wearing uniforms to school. You either do it the proper way or you leave. I left. Well that wasn’t the only reason, but it will do.

Post graduation plans were made (fortunately still in time to get into a college) and I ended up doing mass communication without really having planned it long.

Again, I wavered towards the end as classmates started off with jobs that paid Rs 2,500. Yes, seriously. My maids make three times that amount! So I panicked and joined an airline. That lasted 2 days across 3 flights. (What can I say – same mistake again – I don’t wear uniforms and I don’t take orders very well. Hospitality is the worst choice of job for me!)

And I finally stopped fighting the inevitable and joined television. It’s been 9 years now and I’ve done TV, newspaper, magazine and Internet – and enjoyed it all, but somehow I feel that I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. Oh I know I want to be in media. But I still haven’t got the perfect job in terms of fulfillment.

Don’t get me wrong. I am right now just where I’d like to be. In a place where I work flexitime. Good colleagues. And not at the head office so the pressure is lower. So yes – this particular job suits me fine.

And this is why I love this line of work in general –

– I have opinions. (Ahem, you guys might have noticed that) and I like to be in a place where I can air them. I don’t have a column yet so I can’t air it, but I hope to someday. NO – I don’t have a book in me and I don’t hope to be published either. Give me anyday the pleasure of a regular column with feedback. Naturally only yes men/women need mail me back. (If that doesn’t bring the trolls in, nothing will.)

– I am creative. And nothing could have satisfied this urge like my job. The day I don’t find a line to write, I’ll quit and grow roses. ugh. Not roses, maybe lilies.

– I like meeting new people. People seriously interest me which is why I will make up stories and backgrounds in my head as I sit in a bus or train or mall. I like to know more. This is the best way to do it.

– I have grown to love the lifestyle beat. Knowing the hottest restaurants, stores and joints is now something I love doing. It started off feeling rather trite, but I’ve realised that it’s got its moments.

– I learn something new all the time. Maybe only a little bit but enough to get by. I did business news for 4 years and it’s made me confident enough to sit in on any discussion. And now I’ve learnt a lot about politics, food and fashion. It’s always a learning process.

– It’s one of the few jobs that can work successfully in terms of freelance and flexitime.  Well a lot of jobs can, if HR heads begin to give it some thought – but this one has a history of being laidback and flexible, making it most suitable for a person like me.

– It’s a job for those who want to seek fame so although I don’t which is why I bumble along, turning down offers, refusing to report live and preferring to stay in the background, I love that the option is always there, should I care.

– And while in the real world marketing guides every pen, I hope someday to work myself into a position where my pen is free and I can write as I please. I do it here and someday I want to be able to do it for a column that people pay to read.

I further tag Dipta, Sue, Dot and Kodi’s Mom.


34 thoughts on “Why I am a wordsmith – Tag

  1. Brought a smile to my face :)..

    Being a media student, I remember writing to you in a mail, when I was confused about the career choices media had to offer. I finally switched from media and moved to another, in my opinion..more stable stream.

    I guess you’re a born write. Me? Although I enjoy writing on my blog, I always feared facing that writers block at some point, and being forced to churn out words that I don’t connect to just to get that pay cheque at the end of the month. I know writing is just a single aspect of media, but I chickened out of this field. I guess its more for people like you..

    Lovely post. One I could relate to!

  2. I’m sure yourlast line will come true if not soon then some day perhaps?

    My oldest is becoming quiet a writer. She did writing for her class newsletter last year and did some articles this year as well. Hopefully her love of words will continue as she grows older.

    Me: Will do and deleted that last bit 🙂 and yes, I hope and pray so

  3. Reminds me I really need to find something I love doing. Loved reading your reasons and can totally relate. Here’s to finding that job that will fulfill you. Cheers!

  4. “While in the real world, MONEY guides every pen…” not Marketing.

    Marketing is just the big bad wolf everyone puts the blame on.

    And lots of people would pay to read you. Take my word for it.

    Me: oh ouch 😉 we touched a raw nerve didnt we!? sorry mktg sahab. and you really think so? Thank you. maybe some day. Inshallah

  5. You had provided a lot of the info about yourself in bits and pieces … this post talks a lot about yourself …
    I remember reading long time back where you had passingly mentioned about an ad you had worked 🙂 How long did that last MM ??
    Lucky ones get to work in the field they love … glad you are one of those lucky ones 🙂

    Me: Oh I did that right through my post grad, CA. A little bit of modelling. For lots of random stuff, a music video, hand modelling, spots for music channels – all done to earn some pocket money and get myself through college. I didnt ever consider it seriously. I know my limitations 🙂

  6. Have never commented here before. Came here through a friend’s blog. Your career seems quite interesting. Would you elaborate on what exactly you do on a day to day basis ? I just understood that you are in the media and am really interested to know how a typical work day is like…

    Me: Sorry! I guess I figured regular readers knew and I didnt bother to elaborate. I am a journalist.

  7. hey! have been reading quite a lot of your blog in recent times and am really loving it.. i m into writing and editing too (not exactly in mainstream media), and could relate to the reasons that you have stated for getting into this particular field.. those are the very reasons i got into this field too.. would love to know more about how you started out and developed in your career.. 🙂

  8. Hay MM, you say you have learnt a lot about fashion now. You always had an instinctive knack for good fashion. A person like me has to think and rethink about what would go well and what wouldn’t. But you know it instantly 🙂

    Me: you think so? 🙂 I was really really poor in those days you know… took a huge effort to come to office not looking like a rat!

  9. Completely second Dipta on this one: people will pay to read you!
    One quibble though: I still believe that there IS a book inside you. And that will happen. Mark my words, love.

    Me: You think so? 🙂 perhaps. Although I believe I have no imagination! What I do have is a voice and an opinion and no fear. So the column is more my dream than a book. Again – Inshallah.. 🙂

  10. Should be the easiest thing for you bag a regular coloumn in a national newspaper or a mag…but of course you you have to give up some of the freedom you enjoy here.
    The problem is ppl dont pay nearly enough to read newspapers….advertisers do, and therein lies the conflict.

    Me: For that I’d have to get off my lazy butt. I’ve had all sorts of offers from hosting my own show to a mad momma column. But I dont want it as the mad momma. I want it on my own byline. But as my favourite columnist Anna Quindlen once said – You need to live a while before you live out loud. I agree. I see a lot of young editors and columnists churning out crap. Dumbing down the readers. I dont want to be one of them. I dont mind waiting, honing my writing and being on top and ready when it happens.

  11. True that…have been amazed at the pile of crap that masquerades around as opinion pieces in the Indian media and then i read the names of the “coloumists” and recognise some who went to J-school with me or started their career with me and wonder how they pulled off this scam….nobody is paying me to pontificate on why fart smells….

    Me: Its not their fault. Its the fault of the higher ups who give them that job, thinking that youth will reach out to youth. Hell – how about giving youth something to look up to and mull over?

  12. Hey MM, You have had varied experiences before you could nail down on what you wanted to do. Good in a way that you end up with a few wrong things and then you know what interests you. I started with my career 13 yrs ago..and have stuck to that field..sigh! feel like i have been working for donkeys years now..
    Job promises all flexibility but is hardly flexible..such are the expectations. No prizes for guessing..i work for the darned IT sector!!!! This is defenitely not my cup of tea…but cant give up either 😦 Some day i hope to get out of this vicious circle…

  13. “ It’s been 9 years now and I’ve done TV, newspaper, magazine and Internet”
    When you speak about internet, you don’t mean blogging right? As in you’ve also written articles/features on the net as a journalist? Would love, love to read those if you don’t mind. 🙂

    I immensely envy people who enjoy the work that they do. Lucky YOU! 🙂 Currently, most of my close friends, like me, are kind of stuck in a rut. We know this is not what we like but don’t really know where to go. Someday, I hope to reach where you are.

  14. Thanks, MM! This was such a lovely response to my tag! (And I thought you must have forgotten by now…)

    I tagged you because I knew you’d done lots of different things and wanted to know how you got where you are. Thank you for telling us about your journey, though I would have liked to know a little more about your TV and journalism career.

    And all the best for the future – I’m sure you’ll have a smart, sassy, opinionated column soon!

    Me; oh no – I wouldnt have forgotten – am just a little slow to take up tags. As for the TV career – I wish I could tell you more, but it passed in a blur and I didnt enjoy it. TV happens too fast to give your piece any thought.

  15. There’s no doubt that writing is your fit, MM! You write well, you’re a rational ranter and jeez! you’re prolific!

    One day, that column will be yours. And I hope, a spot on a lifestyle channel. We can never have too much lifestyle porn!

  16. i am a regular reader of your blog and enjoy it thoroughly. like you, i too have done a lot of things, before finding out what i love doing and thankfully, rather late, am a journalist like you… could relate wholly with your views…

  17. It is weird to think about the effect a lot of these decisions (like choosing/ditching a job over another) have on our lives. If you wouldn’t have ditched that PR job at a hotel or the one with an airline, you wouldn’t have been what you are today! Sometimes I think our instinct helps us make the right decision, even though it may look like it was taken in a hurry. Though there are times when I think circumstances drives our decisions. Not making much sense, am I?

    Loved reading this post. 🙂

  18. I would love to read honest columns and view-points- something I have stopped doing after I saw the trading of news & the news space during one of my due-diligence reviews of a PR firm….

  19. This was really interesting to read MM..gave quite a glimpse into your life and choices until now..

    You write extremely well….God bless!

  20. You are a natural! People will pay to read you. I have always wondered what makes a good writer – how much of it is talent vs how much of it is practice?

    Me: I have no idea 🙂 perhaps one could look at my earliest posts for an idea except that right now I’ve shut that blog down

  21. I love this word, wordsmith! Always had, and I am sure, always will.

    Gonna do a gate-crashing of sorts, and will take up this tag. It is that inviting.

  22. You are lucky.. You seem to have ended up doing pretty much what you like.

    Me: I have. I think its partly because I usually follow my heart and to hell with the consequences. And partly because I then learn to love what my lot is, and make my peace with it.

    • Yes, columns have appeared. There is a new dream.. it has a looong way to go. Thanks for asking 🙂 Have read your last comment but as per your request, have not published it. I wish you lots of luck and send virtual hugs your way.

      • Lovely ! Congrats ! And all the very best as you pursue your new dream, may success and satisfaction be yours. Are your Columns available online? Is that something you can share? I u’stand if you can’t as part of preserving your identity.

        Also, did you receive my request to read your old blog? Something you can consider?

        Thanks for the best wishes MM . Hope all is well with the mad family ! 🙂

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