Those people who say when you get paid for doing something you love, it won’t feel like a job, because you love it, are they your friends? Do you know them? I’d like to ask them some serious questions
My name is Jessica, but I’m sure you already know. I’m the famous one you haven’t heard about. Let’s get to the real thing.
The first two paragraphs are not usually my thing. If you see this when this piece is finally published, then it means I didn’t read this twenty more times looking for errors. I’m a sucker for validation, but this time around, I’m working on just being able to JUST DO IT. Without holding back because I’m scared about what y’all will think.
Now, let’s get to the real thing.
I’ve always loved writing. Please, I’m not trying to sound cliche or smooth. I really love writing. Growing up, I wrote everything down. I wrote my thoughts, my arguments when I couldn’t say them, my prayers, my fears, my ideas, blah blah blah. Yeah. I wrote it all. I’m not sure I know why I preferred to write than talk(now I talk a lot)earlier in my life. Maybe because I have beautiful calligraphy skills?Or because I’m a bookaholic. If the world was ending, I’d be upset because if I couldn't finish my current read, worse if it’s a series.
For everything I wrote, I never wanted anyone to see. I was so scared about what people thought. Yes, scared. I couldn’t handle any kind of criticism, constructive, or whatever word people use to disguise their demeaning comments. If I ever put any writing out, it was anonymous. This is because I didn’t know how to shut the comments out. Positive comments made me really happy, but for every negative statement or comment, I questioned myself and whether I was any good at it as I thought.
When I started my UX writing journey, learning about writing for experience was the easiest for me. I wasn’t struggling with knowing what to do next. I also cared less about what people think. Why? It could be because I knew my writing didn't have to stand out by itself, or because I’m not necessarily writing for people to read as they want. I consider my writing as writing to help. No spotlight moments, just writing and doing my part, working with other people to bring out a world-class product. One that users won’t need to pay attention to because it’s giving them all they need without making them ask.
When practicing with UX Writing prompts, the copies seemed to just flow out of my mind seamlessly. Before I lead you astray with that line of thought, understand that all the writing I did then needed corrections, was missing some vital knowledge and skill set, and a lot of other things I didn’t know. I’m not saying my writing was perfect from the very first day. It was just easy for me to keep trying. The focus wasn’t and will never be me. That takes away a chunk of the burden of putting myself out there.
My time spent writing for experience is the only time I ever feel confident in my writing. Perfect or not, I am proud of myself everyday for the thought process behind every single word I can come up with to make users have an easy and beautiful experience.
With UX Writing, feedback is like food. I digest what needs to be adjusted, and put the rest in the trash. Sometimes, people give feedback on a product with a personal bias towards you or a part of the product. I’m learning to take what’s important, implement it, and leave what’s not important. Iteration phases are usually the toughest parts, because they make me question my skills and ability, especially after I have to change an entire copy flow. I get better every day with filtering comments and feedback. I revel in the feedback that commends my efforts and still make necessary adjustments when they are needed.
It feels right to me to keep showing up for this every day. It’s not always easy. Some days, I still have imposter syndrome. Some days, it seems like I’m a long road away from the better days. Other days I’m wondering if I can really be the writer I imagine myself to be. But, in all of the fears and uncertainty, I’ve never been so sure about anything in my life like I am right now.
I’m a UX Writer and it feels really good to say that!