05 August 2013

Technically Speaking...

I have about seven incomplete drafts on my blog dashboard, and they all begin something like this:
Hey! It's Cassandra Lotus. I work as a tech writer now. I want to pursue more creative endeavors and fulfill that urge by writing my thoughts on the Internet. Today, I ate salad at my desk and found a pocket of time to slip into the sunshine and pretend that my job isn't located in the Inland Empire. What happened to all that time I wasted back in the spring with nothing to do and nowhere to be? I've been taking vitamins that I firmly believe are making my hair grow stronger. I love yoga pants. 

JK, my office isn't at a baseball park, but I did have
a conference here and it was cool.
They say that as a tech writer there is always job security and that the work never feels like it's finished. Well, I feel like the learning never feels like it's finished, either. In fact, it wouldn't be a weekday without feeling like I've finally cracked the code to the air-operated double-diaphragm pump industry, only to be handed a silly PFA-coated hardware change that throws a wrench, or, more appropriately, a fastener, into my little victory lap around the engineering department.

Let's start over. Hello, it's me, Cassandra Lotus. And for the past three months I've been working as a technical writer for a marketing company that specializes in industrial pumps. And yes, it's just as riveting and tedious as it sounds.

But this post is more about learning how to learn as an adult. This is the first fall of my entire life that I won't be a student. That is, I won't be returning to campus 500 miles north of home in some sort of tear-stricken madness, only to eat my feelings for weeks and try not to melt in Northern California's sunshine. Instead, I will be heading to the same desk that I have been reporting to for the past three months and handling what projects decide to be thrown to marketing by Engineering.

Let's get real for a second: if I had known back in college (a whole year ago!) that technical writing was going to be the job I would land, I might have thought twice about dropping out of grad school. But, in all honesty, somedays it feels good to work parts of my brain that haven't been used--ever. You know how when you go rock climbing and the next day you feel parts of your arms you never knew existed? That's how my brain feels after a long day spent at good ol' Wilden Pump & Engineering Company. The best part, though, is that life is so fast-paced in a marketing agency like the one I work for, that there really isn't a whole lot of time to lick my wounds or even think about them--unless of course I decide to blog about them. And they aren't wounds, really, just little headaches from using parts of my brain I've never used before.

I spend a lot of time with my cats on my days off.
And it's actually kinda fun to learn something so different from anything I'd ever pursue on my own. As a writer, I would say my favorite things to write about are cats, wine, sex, and food--and most often these are all grouped together. Having this day job where there is nothing cat-, wine-, sex-, or food-related (unless you count our hygienic series pumps), my creative reserves are high. And when my creative reserves are high, some incredible shit happens: I throw around opening sentences and titles in my mouth all day, I get hung up on images I hear in songs, I create doodle characters (I recently created an unnamed octopus that has witty captions like, "Jesus wears yoga pants"). Look at me, after 3 months of drafts, I'm finally writing and (hopefully) hitting publish on this post. I want to write again. I have material to write about again (so good and so deep and so heartbreakingly juicy, it gives me chills). I feel funny again, I feel nice again. And did I mention I've been working out and eating salads? I've lost ten pounds since my last post.

So while I still have a long way to go--career-wise, creativity-wise, and weight loss-wise--I feel like it's okay to have this daily confusion. Ancora Imparo, I am still learning.

May you find ways to use the parts of your brain that are dusty and under-used.

Namaste.

2 comments :

  1. *stands up and claps*

    I am excited for you, and also excited to tell you that for the first time in 11 years this fall I WILL be a student. I can't wait to find all the places in my brain I didn't know I had. I'm going to Fuller Seminary (the northwest extension campus). Yay for new beginnings!

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  2. When I was in college, I dreamed of becoming a tech writer. I really love to write but because of my parents' influence, I am taking up medicine right now. But this dream of mine will never die. Thanks for inspiring me. royal-essay.com

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