back to slack, by way of explanation

Friday was my last day at Yahoo.

I didn’t talk much about it here — I feel weird doing the work blogging thing — but while I was there I was working on the Yahoo Developer Network, a small team that publishes and evangelizes Yahoo Web Services and APIs. My job involved just about everything related to stuff you find on the YDN web site — writing, editing, web dev, content management, even some programming. For the first few months while I was there it was really fun — I learned a huge amount about all kinds of interesting technologies, I got a whole lot of writing done, and I got to work with a whole lot of enormously smart people. And there’s free espresso. Did I mention the free espresso?

But it was also a monstrously huge amount of work. We had a product launch on the site about every three weeks. Because I couldn’t possibly actually write about all those products myself I ended up being more of a manager and editor of content produced by other groups. Unfortunately, I am a terrible editor and a worse manager and I don’t like doing either job. As the schedule got busier things definitely weren’t as much fun as they had been. And I really, really missed being able to actually write.

More importantly for me, however, I somehow got swallowed up by the work. It wasn’t that my work hours were all that nasty, although ten hour days were not all that unusual. It was that I would go to work and think about work, then drive home and think about work, be at home and think about work; lie in bed trying to sleep and think about work, and then go to sleep and dream about work. I began to have trouble remembering what it was like to be able to think about things other than work. This was, as you can imagine, kind of detrimental to my home life. And I wasn’t writing at home either (note distinct lack of blogging over the last few months).

I don’t know why it is that I lost myself so thoroughly in this job; it’s never happened to me on short contract writing jobs and I can’t remember it happening when I was writing books. I’m usually really good about maintaining work/life balance but I completely lost it on this job.
This is something that really puzzles me and something I need to go off onto a desert island or a mountain top and think about for a while.

At any rate: it became fairly obvious to me recently that unfortunately this job wasn’t going to work out for me. And thus, here I am. My immediate goals are: A. sunlight B. carousing C. write. D. write. E. write.

3 thoughts on “back to slack, by way of explanation

  1. I am Glad you managed to escape. Personally, I would rather do the swallowing instead of the other way round.

  2. Was it the culture of the organization? I must admit that this is not an organization I am fond of — so many errors and so difficult to find a real person to talk to — so unlike its acquisition, flickr — but if folks are being eaten by their jobs, that would explain some of the problem.

  3. Hey Laura, glad to hear that you’re back int the writing, always love your stories… 😉

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