Wednesday, October 13

A what?

I have a bachelor's degree in English. I've been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I have written stories and papers my entire life. In fact, I make a living writing documentation for users. (I know, what's my point, right?)

Today I had my one-on-one with my boss. I'm working on trying to learn to write more "internal communications" type stuff in addition to my tech writing. Um, ok. So, we had my development plan open, and he was brainstorming, and he says, out of the blue, "Maybe if you took a creative writing class?" My face must have given it away, because he quickly said "Just an idea, maybe a Marketing Communications class? I don't know."

What's the problem? The problem is that nasty biddy of a teacher I had in college who insisted that I learn to write in a specific style, one that SHE chose. One that I loathed. One that felt like a cheap pair of shoes that was a size too small and the wrong color for my outfit. You know, the shoes that give you blisters when you LOOK at them. Yea, those. She pressed, prodded, pushed. "This is how you become a great writer." No it's not. You become a great writer by writing. And writing. And writing some more. You become a great writer by learning to put your thoughts onto paper in a way that engages people to read them and glean something from them that gives me an "aha" moment. Seriously.

I think the big problem with the "communications writing" is that, although it is work, and it will protect my job, it's not my passion. My passion is explaining things to people in a way that helps them do a job. Now I need to break out of that mold and embrace a new style. (Without the biddy, thank you very much.)

A class in Creative Writing. Hee hee. I daydreamed on the way home about it, and about telling my manager, "Gee, Nanowrimo is coming up in November, maybe that would be a good way to get my writing honed up and better for communications." Then I woke up. LOL As if he'd go for that. (In case you don't know, go to www.nanowrimo.org and learn. November is national novel writing month-- you write 50,000 words of a novel in a month. It is the coolest thing ever. I did it in 2008, but didn't write more than 1000 words in 2009... maybe this year?)

Anyhow, it's amusing to go through life and try to fit into different molds. I guess that's what that nasty biddy was trying to teach us. :) (Still don't like her, and can't remember her name, either!)