For those of you who have been kindly following me on this blog, you probably have noticed that I have been thoroughly enjoying my non-working, retired life. My former job was so stressful; I could never get ahead and was always playing catch-up, no matter how many hours a day I worked. And I have written about being untethered from email – what an unexpected wonder that has been, in addition to being free from the countless, never-ending responsibilities that were placed upon me with my former position.
So when I got an email from one of the marketing directors at my former company asking me if I wanted to do some temporary, part-time work, I surprised myself by saying yes!
Why did I say yes? First, I respect and like the women who need my help – I like them a lot. Second, though it is related to my former job, it’s not my former job. Third, it’s decent money and because it’s part-time, I still have a lot of flexibility every day, something I didn’t want to relinquish. I am limited to 20 hours a week, so the work can’t take over my life, and I can break up those 20 hours any way that I wish, since my deadlines will be weekly. Finally, it’s writing, not selling, and so it fits with my goal of developing this new craft of mine.
I must admit to some misgivings after agreeing. However, what I have discovered is that even though I am back on Outlook with a company email, I am a stealth employee; I am not on any company lists so I am not getting dozens of emails a day. I am not servicing customers or learning consultants, so I am not getting those emails either, which were the emails that usually caused me the most stress. I am only responsible to Jill, my manager, and there is a sort of liberation in only having to answer to one person, not hundreds as with my former role.
Finally, the work itself is interesting. I am writing scripts for training videos for a variety of our digital products. These are the same products that I used to train instructors to use in person. However, instead of speaking the instructions to a live audience, I now must write the instructions with two audiences in mind – the person who will be producing the video, and the instructor who will be using the video to learn how to use the product. This requires that I not only think about the best way to instruct an end user, but that I think about what the video producer will be doing as they speak my written instructions. So, I need to tell the producer what they need to be doing as they speak my explanations, and I need to be as clear as possible so that there is no confusion on the part of the person who will ultimately be watching and hoping to learn what I am teaching. I must also make sure that what I am writing exactly matches the commands in the digital product because I won’t be there to clarify my instructions as I would have had I been doing the training in person.
So, even though I still know these programs so well I could train someone in my sleep, writing these scripts is an exciting challenge because of the new way that I am forced to think about them. I am finding this fascinating, and it is engaging both sides of my brain – the left, logical side and the right, creative side. It’s a different kind of writing than writing this blog or writing a memoir, but it’s still writing with a purpose, and it’s writing about something that I know.