When someone says they LOVE THAT DEADLINE PRESSURE, don’t you believe it. My work is all about deadlines. I don’t really love it, but the whip is effective. Fortunately, if I plan well by researching before I think I really have to, then I make my deadline, and sometimes under the wire.
At my office we have a system for shuttling our work from idea to fruition unlike anything else I’ve used before. I like it, but I haven’t got a full grasp on it yet. I thought the due date was MY due date and not the entire due date, so I’ve had to adjust my sails and whip out the words faster than I find comfortable. Then I might forget to log into the tracker, but I’m getting better at that as well.
When I worked as a newspaper reporter, I’d go out to cover a story and bring back my notes and sit down at a computer and get it out in an hour or two at most. It helps to have a beat that you know about, but if it’s general assignment, how would you know about things like exploding gas lines or the neighbors of the guy who died in his little apartment on Hobron Lane? I remember once having to write a story about a guy in Keehi Boat Harbor dumping paint and crap into the water there. It was not an easy story. I had to get a veteran reporter to talk to the harbor master, someone he had developed a relationship with. I wished I could be that seasoned.
I realized when I was little that if I didn’t do well in math, I could pull my average up by writing. Then when I got to college I signed up for writing intensive classes for the same reason. No, I cannot explain to my 4th grader what the heck is going on in her math workbook, but I do resist the urge to write her teacher a note about why said kid should get a pass for not figuring it all out. I could do that, but it would be wrong.
Writing works for me. While a student at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, I managed to get scholarships for each semester by writing essays and entering writing competitions. I can’t be more grateful for having the ability to do that.
Today I came in with a big heap of work to wade through, and I got it all done, including a huge assignment that required some imagination. The day flew by. I knew it had to be done, so I do it. Pack a lunch and eat at the desk. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get to walk around a little bit, or maybe even have a morning Starbucks. It’s been about a week since I’ve done that.
I’ve really not told you anything about what I do except that I write at work. That’s the thing with journalists, they never really write about any one thing.