In last week’s About You post, Johnny and I asked you to tell us what you do for a living. It’s always interesting to hear how others spend the 9 to 5 of their day. Our jobs don’t define us, but a pretty hefty chunk of our lives are spent working. And then we come home at night and savor those few precious hours before bedtime doing whatever the heck we want. It might be cooking a gourmet dinner, hitting the gym, going out with friends, reading a book, or just vegging in front of the TV for four hours straight (been there done that).
Johnny and I spend the majority of our work days writing (him) and editing (me). When Johnny gets home from work, he entertains Baby Girl while I make a quick dinner. We’ve tried to switch up dinner duty, but a girl can only take so many hot dog and grilled cheese nights. We eat, put the baby to bed, relax for a bit, and then work on this here blog for a couple hours. So why after almost an entire day of writing and editing would we want to end our day with a “hobby” that requires more of the same?
Well, let me explain. First, saying we’re writers and editors is kind of a vague explanation of what our day jobs entail, so here’s the real deets about what we do from the hours of 9 to 5.
What We Do During the Day
Ever watch Mad Men? Johnny IS Don Draper, complete with the spiffy suits, greased hair, morning/midday/afternoon drinking, and countless affairs with women. Oh, and the copywriting aspect, too. Actually, nothing except the copywriting aspect. As far as I know… right, Johnny… Johnny? His “suit” of choice for work each day is a plaid shirt with jeans and Vans. And what does an advertising copywriter do? His job is to write words for those things that everyone avoids: commercials, billboards, and magazine, radio, and Internet ads. But Johnny does everything in his power to make it so if you do happen to look at, watch, or listen to one of his ads, it’s at least enjoyable. His writing at work is always constrained by a specific demographic, timeline, and voice that’s in keeping with the brand he’s writing for.
My job, on the other hand, is so cool that it doesn’t need a TV show all about it. I correct grammar stuff all day. I’ll give you a moment to let the excitement sink in. Basically, I’m given projects that range anywhere from 15 to 40 pages in length, and I go through and edit them for errors and make sure they align with my company’s style guide. I’m not gonna lie. It’s pretty boring stuff. And I have to have complete focus to do it well. But I thrive off of organization (and marking things with red pens). So I find it rewarding to take unorganized documents and make them organized.
What We Do at Night
So why after a day of dealing with the written word would we choose to go and write on a blog for a couple hours? Well, there’s a reason we’re both in career fields that involve writing: it’s something we both really enjoy. The difference is that our blog doesn’t constrain us the way our jobs do. This is our sandbox where anything we want to say goes. We don’t have to play by any rules, so it’s a fun outlet. Johnny doesn’t have to fit 40 product benefits into a 10-word headline. And I don’t have to read and reread every sentence to make sure we’re using the active voice and avoiding misplaced and dangling modifiers. Writing on here is bliss, really. Although our blog still involves writing, it’s rejuvenating, and we write about stuff we actually want to talk about!
And there’s specific aspects each of us enjoys. Johnny actually started his career as an art director, so he loves the design and technical aspects. He designed the site look and feel and helps me put the finishing touches on any post images I create. And I enjoy writing original posts since my job only entails rewriting others’ content. And then for both of us our favorite aspect is reading and responding to comments. It’s so cool to know there are other money-conscious peeps out there who are trying their best to enjoy life while keeping things real in the budgeting department. We love reading everyone’s thoughts, insights, and personal experiences.
So that’s why we spend some of our precious free time away from work on this blog, “working.” It’s not work at all. It’s a fun escape, one that we can do together. What about you? What’s your escape from work? What do you do during those hours between getting home from work and going to sleep at night? We want to hear!