Hi everyone! My 18-year career made me morph into different writing roles. I’m happy to share my learnings, experiences, and challenges in the different roles. Hope it helps you get insights into the different careers and opportunities in writing.
I first started writing in a corporate setup while in charge of training at a Building Automation Company. I wrote training presentations and newsletters. That was a time I was unaware of style guides, Instructional Design, and other rules and nuances of writing. But, somehow, the writing served the purpose.
It was also the first time I started working with Subject Matter Experts (SME). While the experts were willing to share information, it was difficult to get an appointment with them, as they were always busy. But, it was a pleasure to bring out a newsletter after teaming up with an expert and circulating it to all the company branches in India.
Another stint was at a software company in Bangalore as a Technical Writer. That was a time we used good old MS-Word to write User Manuals for software products and applications. Way back then, FrameMaker and Robohelp were not much in use. In this role also, I had to interview programmers to understand the new application and its uses. We used Snag-It to take screenshots of the software application and combined them with text descriptions and steps. My knowledge of Java helped me a lot when I wrote the manual for a Java-based application. Then I understood why they asked for some experience in coding and testing to write software user manuals.
My next tryst with writing was at e-learning companies. It was here, I came to know about Instructional Designing. Instructional Design is a vast field in itself and they had a set of theories and techniques to write instructional material or training material. Heard about Bloom’s Taxonomy, Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction, and Cognitive Load Balance while working at e-learning companies. I was also lucky to attend a 3-week Instructional Design training at Skillsoft, Ireland.
In Ireland – For Instructional Design Training
While working at an e-learning company, I heard from 2 of my friends about Blogging. And then started blogging in 2006 using blogger.com. I had 4 blogs. I wrote book reviews, travel diaries, event coverages, movie reviews, learning and development snippets, fundraising posts for NGOs, and general rants. Blogging opened up a whole new world of experiences and opportunities. Through the Indiblogger network which had thousands of bloggers, we bloggers got to attend the marketing events of many company products and services. I remember the inauguration of ITC Grand Chola when we bloggers were given a walkthrough of the entire hotel. We had to write a blog post about the hotel and compete with the other bloggers for a prize. We also got a special invite later for lunch with one family member or friend. Sometimes, we got free samples to exhibit and write about in our blog. Of late, I have been interviewing a lot of people for my blog and it is very exciting. Many of my blog posts have been listed as top posts and popular posts on Indiblogger.
In – ITC Chola Event
First Responder Award – Dorai Foundation
During the Covid-19 second wave, a group called ‘Namakku Namme Chennai’ was helping people affected by Covid-19 in all possible ways. I blogged about their activities. And so received the First Responder Award from Dorai Foundation for my blogging.
Though blogging is viewed as content marketing, my blog posts were more like learning content with interesting information. One of my blog posts about Instructional Design has more than 27,000 views and is still growing. I did take up assignments in copywriting and wrote marketing copies. But, compared to all the other types of writing, I found copywriting to be difficult and challenging. Because, at the end of reading your post, the reader has to purchase something. So, your content has to be engaging, enticing, informative, and much more rolled into one!
Now I’m writing Alt Text or Alternative Text. I have to describe the images in e-books in words. Because visually challenged people cannot see the images, the screen reader software will read out the alt text that we have written for the image.
I have authored 65+ children’s picture books on the Pratham Books StoryWeaver platform. The StoryWeaver website has thousands of beautiful images drawn by famous artists. The tool used to create a picture book on the website is simple. Two years back, I would not have imagined seeing a book with my name as the author. But, StoryWeaver made that happen, and they also give you the copyright if you are the author. My picture books – A Giving Christmas and Happy Diwali have each got more than 1000 views so far. Have also translated 85+ picture books from English to Tamil and vice versa.
So, in my writing journey, I took on roles such as Technical Writer, Instructional Designer, Children’s Picture Book Author, Alt Text writer, Copywriter, and Instructor-led Training Content Writer.
And the writing journey continues…
Popular Posts In Anitha – Blog –Bonsai Bumblings
In Picture – Anitha Selvanathan
About the Author:
Anitha Selvanathan @anitha_sings_blogs lives in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India. She is an engineer with a Masters in Human Resource Management. She is passionate about writing, training, and blogging. She loves to read a variety of books and makes short videos of her singing.