Features

24 Hours With… Nic Tse of Seriously Man

Seriously Man blogger and social media agency editor Nic Tse takes us through a day in his life where he grapples with copywriting, grooming and ice cream

8.30am: I try to start the day with gratitude. I’m grateful for my flexible work arrangement, because I get to wake up naturally without the alarm.

To fire up my neurons for the day ahead, it starts with the requisite coffee and a combination of stretches and push-ups.

9.00am: After catching up on the news, I check out the latest articles on my bookmarked publications. It is not only for information or entertainment. I study the writing style and content approach to see how I measure up, and how I can improve.

9.30am: By day, as the editor at social media agency AM Collective, I’m in what I call the business of hydra slaying: every round of copywriting, proofreading, editing, editorial ideation and damage control I check off, more ‘heads’ just sprout. That’s how it is with the agency life.

Because the pace is that unforgiving, I’m forced to be smart with my time management. I take advantage of the fact that my mind is freshest in the morning, so I blitz past the ‘creative grunt work’ first. They’re usually the hard writing bits, be it an advert for clients or an article for in-house platforms.

If I’m giving you the impression that I find writing a chore, you’re not far from the truth. But I suppose I have to suffer for my craft.

11.30am: It’s time for a change of environment. I’ll freshen up and dabble in my rather elaborate going-out routine of facial grooming and hair styling. The guy behind a men’s blog that advocates for style and grooming greatness can’t be caught looking bad, right?

Since I’m already spending an obscene amount of time (relative to other guys) on that, it only makes sense that I have a style uniform in place: a fitted black Jack Wills tee, slim fit CK’s and Converse high tops.

12.30pm: On the way to my co-sharing office space, I’ll ‘dapao’ my lunch and eat as I work. Serious slumps usually hit after lunch, so this is the window when I scramble to generate as many witty captions as I can for my social media duties.

2pm: During the afternoon slowdown, I turn my attention (or lack thereof) to the lesser tasks that don’t require as much brain power. We’re talking editing, email correspondence, online researches,mentoring writers, traffic monitoring, coordinating shoots for in-house content and more editing.

4pm: If it isn’t time for another coffee.

4.15pm: More reading. It’s a great workout for the brain.

4.45pm: The going-home stretch means I’ll start wrapping up unfinished businesses from the writers, or plan for next day’s work. Somehow, last minute requests from clients always come up, and I perform some more hydra slaying before ‘calling it a day’.

7pm: Homebound.

7.45pm: By night, I go from a ‘Bruce Wayne’ to a ‘Batman’. I switch off from work – unless there’s an emergency – and segue into my other normal life after dinner including a workout.

9.30pm: This is the part where it gets interesting, because I get to go unhinged with Seriously Man. I get to say what I mean, and mean what I say. I get to write about things I believe will make a difference, with a kind of unfiltered wittiness that only I know how.

But more importantly, I get to fulfil a ‘bigger purpose’: Using my words to inspire great writing in Singapore. Of course, it doesn’t come without its fair share of challenges, especially since I’m working with limited amounts of time. Amazingly, I waste it by sitting in front of the blank page, mentally constipated.

I suppose my mind is already made up on some television time – with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in hand. To overcome the resistance (the TV part, never the ice cream), I’ll remind myself how far I’ve come with Seriously Man, and why I did it in the first place.

And how people tell me they love my way with words. Seriously, I can’t think of a better morale booster to keep the wheels turning, whether I’m staying ahead of the blog’s editorial calendar, trying my hand at graphic design or pitching to potential collaborators.

1am: I’d try to get some serious Z’s by this time. My Broody Allen brain can take no more. Tomorrow’s another day.

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