Not My Voice

And the Shameful Way I’ve Behaved Today

After 6 interviews and 3 internships, I’ve told myself to stop advertising myself as a writer. But when you’re talking to potential employer, and your background and education is in publishing, the topic of writing is impossible to avoid. And once you’ve told them that you’ve written (abysmal) articles and (lazy) blog posts (not this blog), then that’s exactly what they’ll want you to do – for them.

At my current (and third) internship, I’ve been coined as “the writer.” (Seriously. When I was introduced to a co-worker, his first words were: “You’re the writer, right?”) And for the past 3 weeks, I feared the moment when I’d have to prove the title right – this weeks was that week.

From this Monday to today (Wednesday), I wrote 6 blog posts: 1 for our company’s blog and 6 guest posts for other blogs. They all ranged from 500-600 words, all revolving around the topics of our company’s platform, content marketing and content curation.

Of course they suck.

Today, our marketing consultant (also a professional journalist) edited 2 of my articles. (This is the same man who approached me with: “You’re the writer, right?”) So of course I expected an overhaul. It came as no surprise, and I wasn’t particularly hurt by it (I think).

So I made a joke to everyone in the (small) office that I don’t “ever, ever, ever want to write again.” (My exact words.) And then my supervisor and co-worker scolded me (not harshly). My supervisor said that if I ever want to work in marketing, I should know how to write and that I should learn from this edit.

I don’t think they knew I was joking, or perhaps my sub-conscience was telling me something.

But it hadn’t been the edits that made me feel chastened. It was the semi-lesson from my supervisor that made me feel sad. I didn’t meant to display myself as an ungrateful person. I just wanted to tease.

(In retrospect, perhaps they must’ve my tone as sarcasm and thought I was being snide?)

In so many ways, I can blame my sadness and bereft attitude on the fact that I know very little about the topic and that their expectations sort of, kind of, made me nervous. But the truth of the matter was: I should not have advertised myself as a writer.

As much as as I love writing Nocte, fanfiction and anything creative, I despise writing for other people. I despise locking myself to certain rules and perspectives, which was why I struggled with writing essays. I always knew this about myself, and yet, I always advertise myself as a writer.

I place myself in a hateful situation when I do so. I invite employers to assign me writing tasks. Depending on the publication, the platform, and the client, it is no longer my voice, but theirs. And yet, I have to attach my name to it. When my article was edited today, I didn’t see or hear myself in the article anymore. It felt wrong to take credit for it when it doesn’t even look like my work. Not only was my efforts stolen from me, but I have stolen the copy editor’s efforts too.

I just hate to misrepresent myself to the public, especially when I’m not writing at my best.

The problem with the industry I want to be in, writing is an essential skill to have. All I can do now is take my writing credentials off my resume and try not to talk too much about it. In the meantime, I better work on how I can better capture another’s voice and perspective. It will just take some time and (a lot) of effort.

甄雪清

Cyclamen | Resignation and goodbye

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