I have been a tech writer for six years. Novus, essentially, is my first stint in a content agency. When former peers catch wind of my current appointment, it usually elicits a cynical response. “So you’ve joined the dark side, huh?” or a remark to that effect, deliciously delivered with a hearty smirk.

But they are referring to agencies in general—shadowy worlds where the relative freedom of expression is lost. A place where the client is the allegorical god and the devil owns your very soul. Is life as an agency writer really that terrifying? With eleven months in the bag at Novus, I’m in a suitable position to discern the reality.

 

Regulated Freedom

Honestly, I do miss the times when I was empowered to write what I want—with a degree of tact and diplomacy, of course—and the only censorship sieve that stood between my articles and the public’s eye was my editor’s keyboard. Still, all is not lost. It is true writers here have to conform to clients’ wishes, depending on what the brief dictates, yet we still have the option of exercising our creativity to some extent.

Instead of mulling over the tragic loss of artistic freedom, I tend to focus on delivering what the clients desire to the best of my abilities. We might not see eye to eye in every instance of content execution, but if it pleases the customer, why not?

 

New Frontiers

There are many occasions when we are tasked to cover topics we know little about. A client might require us to work on medical disciplines, social media campaigns, beauty tips, marketing spiels, or even relationship advice for the lonely hearts out there. I realised I was wading into muddy, fast-flowing waters.

Rather than throw in the towel or proclaim that I’m just a tech muse who’s been fished out of the water, I willed myself to take up the challenge, stuck my head into research, and got up to speed with the topics at hand. Lo and behold, I find myself learning new things along the way, meeting new people, and gaining fresh insights I never would have merited by hiding beneath my familiar rock.

Sometimes, a little courage can go a long way.

 

Variety is the Spice of Life

I’ll admit it. When I was a tech writer, I did bask in the limelight for a while, knowing I was deemed as the “TV Guru” or the “Router Maestro” in my previous circles. But unless you’re ludicrously in love with TVs and network routers, six years of reviewing the same consumer products tends to get under your skin.

Over here, the work pace is viciously manic, sure. Yes, there’s an endless stream of assignments discharged from every direction, but at least I know I will be tackling many genres, with different challenges from Novus’s diverse pool of clients.

To steal adapt a quote from Forrest Gump—“Life at Novus is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get”. And to top it all off, I am most honoured to be working with a team of talented and very resourceful professionals. Peace.

 

Crossings: Life in the fast-paced world of content creation


BY Andy Sim

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