In a society obsessed with engineers and doctors, the term web content writer does not ring a bell. It raises inquisitive eyebrows from friends and family. On top of that, a home-based web content writer is easily dismissed as a hopeless case of an over educated house wife whiling away time in front of the computer or laptop. I stepped into the world of content writing knowing fully well that the sailing would be tough. Like all other professions, web content writing too comes with its share of professional pressures and pitfalls, not to mention the screaming deadlines. But I was ready for it all. Even on the personal front I was ready to take on the advising souls trying to enlighten me about the benefits of a regular ‘respectable’ job. But what I did not bargain for is that a few inconspicuous factors can come together and turn my life topsy-turvy. Read on to know about the nemesis of my happy work schedule and how they create mayhem in my life:
Its 5am in the morning and the shrill ring of the alarm clock jolts me out of deep sleep (oh yes, an alarm clock, though many think that I can sleep for as long as I want to as I work from home). I carry on with the morning chores while planning to pack in an extra hour at work as I have a deadline to meet. But by 6.30am the day starts presenting its surprises. The first shocker unfolds shortly in the form of my helping hand.
Kanta Bai: Yes, Kanta Bai. The numero uno nemesis of my work, my helping hand! As the deadline is creeping round the corner, I hurry to be able to sit at my desk and complete the blogs and articles that need to be delivered within the next few hours. The sudden buzz of the phone at that hour sounds ominous to me. As I hurriedly receive the call, the inevitable happens. Kanta Bai drops the bomb that she won’t be coming for the day’s work. Strangely, Kanta Bai has an uncanny sense of guessing the days when she is needed the most. Invariably, those are the very days she chooses to skip work. She is a creative brain who comes up with an inconceivable reason every time she goes missing from work. I reign in my anger and begin shuttling between the kitchen and my desk in an effort to balance both sides.
Power Cut: The next on the list is the all-powerful power cut. In our country power cut is no more unusual than the everyday ritual of brushing teeth. Only the timing can be as painful as toothache. At 10am, after struggling for three hours, I am somewhat in control of the situation. After preparing one of the simplest menus for lunch, dropping my kid at school and seeing off my husband for the day, I rush to my desk to attempt finishing my work before the clock hits the deadline hour. 30 minutes of peaceful writing and my hopes begin to rise. May be I can still finish the blogs on time. Beep, beep, beep, beep.….. my UPS starts singing. I feel like calling names: @#$% beep.…beep…beep to it. A look at the clock and I realize that I have just 15 minutes before the battery dies. A few hurried lines are all I manage before the UPS starts to beep at a furious pace. I just somehow manage to save my data on the cloud drive before the screen goes black. Off I rush towards my only option, my laptop. As the screen comes to life, my hopes take a plunge. Junior had been playing angry birds on it the night before and the battery warns of “10% power remaining.” Frustration starts rising its head inside me.
Rains: The seemingly harmless rains are not related to content writing in any way and yet can sometimes wash away the hopes of a determined heart. As the monsoon downpour lashes at the window panes of my home, I am reminded of the rush and slush in front of my kid’s school. I give one desperate look at the laptop and sigh deeply. The only choice left is to wait patiently for the power to return. Suddenly an idea strikes me. What if I visit the internet cafe near the kid’s school and punch in a few lines in the next one hour before its time to get him home? In a flash I am ready to go out and my hopes start to flicker back again. Braving the rains I reach the internet café in a half drenched condition. The young fellow managing the café comes forward and says, “What do you want ma’m?” Me: “2 blogs, 2 articles and 1 about us page in 3 hours and 10 minutes.” Before the school is over I manage to complete some of the work. On the way home, when just 10 minutes away from my destination, the car suddenly breaks down. The rain water has somehow seeped into the interiors of the car, the kid has fallen asleep and there seems to be no help nearby. I dial my husband who, as expected, is busy in a team meeting. Finally after a struggle of 40 minutes the car gets moving and I reach home exhausted.
Internet Connectivity: The factor of slow or no internet connectivity is another nemesis that I dread. Post lunch the power is back and I am seated at my desk. But why does the web page take so long to reload? I gulp down the rising lump in my throat and check the connection. The connectivity has disappeared. As I call my internet operator a sweet female voice on the other end responds that there is an issue and the internet connection will resume in half an hour. “Half an hour? Are you crazy? I will be dead by then. I need the connection now.” My screams and threats seem to have no effect on the lady. She politely informs me that the engineers are doing their best to resolve the issue and disconnects. And almost immediately my phone rings out. As expected, it is a call from my office. “When are you submitting the blogs and articles?” Hesitantly I ask for two hours of extension. Luckily it’s not one of those projects where the deadline is inflexible. My wish granted, I start waiting for the connection to return.
Visitors: For any home-based content writer visitors at the deadline hour is a major distraction. It’s no different for me. As the doorbell interrupts the monotonous sound of my keyboard, I hope it is not one of my advising aunties. And lo! It is exactly what I feared. Archu aunty has selected this date and this hour to pay me a visit. Typing away furiously the last few lines of my article, I narrate in brief about the happenings of the day in order to give her a clue about my extremely tight work schedule right now. But as soon as she opens her mouth I realize that I have played the wrong cards. She happily starts with her enlightened speech about the comforts of a regular fixed-hour office job. Having had enough to suffer for the day I mentally switch off and begin writing my submission mail. Just 10 minutes before hitting the extended deadline, I send off my work successfully. Next I grab a cup of hot coffee and sit in front of Archu aunty who hasn’t yet finished offering me gyan over my choice of career.
As I finish my coffee and check my mails, a new assignment awaits me with a deadline to meet on the next day. I smile and shake my head. None of the above factors can affect me much when they attack alone. But on a day when all of these factors conspire to pay me a visit together, the rock-n-roll does happen. But it’s all in a day’s work. Finally, am I still determined to work as a home-based web content writer? You bet!