In a conversation with my mother earlier, I mentioned that when I think about everything I have to do tomorrow, I feel overwhelmed.
She said I’ll get over it. And she’s right.
I’ve decided that when you take on anything new, there is always a learning curve (or a RElearning curve, as the case may be). I’m in that now. Yes, I know how to use AP style. I know the format for news stories. I’m having to relearn part of it though. This goes along with “The Wheels Are Turning” post from the other day.
Today was more…intense, I guess, than I expected. The assistant editor was back from vacation and trained me on how to do area briefs and obituaries. I worked on an article that I did the research and interview for on Friday. I learned the proper form for submitting my invoices to AR. I want to go over the article I was working on one more time before I call it done. I’m actually pretty happy with it.
Tomorrow, I need to come up with some interview questions for an entirely different subject, do the interview, type my notes, and finish a Halloween round-up article that I’ve been collecting information for.
Can I do it all tomorrow? I think so. Part of it, I have to.
I guess the point of all of this is to say that with my calendar, notebook, and revamped skill set, I’ve got this.
What are you working on that causes you to feel overwhelmed from time to time? I can pretty well guarantee you’ve got it — whatever “it” is — too.
It is easy to get lulled into the belief that writing is writing is writing. Today, I was reminded that is not necessarily the case.
Researching articles for news writing is a different ballgame than researching for magazine articles. True, some of the basics are the same, but the process itself is different. You have to ask different questions of yourself and of your sources for news writing (reporting) than you do for magazine writing.
This is not a complaint. It is a statement of what is.
I also realized the power of flattery in getting a potential source to be more amenable to meeting for an interview. This was an unexpected realization. Yes, I know people like to be complemented, but I underestimated how valuable a tool it could be.
For example, a potential interviewee seemed rather reluctant to agree to talk to me. Then I mentioned the research I have already done on his work and how I think it looks like A Very Good Thing.
He asked when I wanted to meet for the interview.
I think flattery is probably a tool that is best used sparingly, otherwise it could seem insincere. I think, too, though, that it is a valuable tool and should not be ignored.
When it comes to the actual writing, I am having to retrain myself about such things as when to abbreviate and when to use the full word/term and whether or not to use the Oxford comma.
Yes. The wheels are turning. And I swear I can feel the rust of unuse falling off as they move.
Sometimes plans change and drive us nuts. Other times, they change and we know it will be so much for the better.
This is one of those times. The better one, that is. Though I have no doubt it will drive me nuts sometimes, too. (That’s easy to do when you’re already more than halfway there.)
A few weeks ago, I had applied for a job I really wanted. Then I went to Eureka Springs for two weeks. I thought I’d get the call for an interview while I was gone. Instead, the call came two days after I got back.
I went to the interview and it went great. To fast forward a little bit, I didn’t get the full-time job I wanted. Instead, I got offered a long-term contract position.
That will actually work out for the better. And it will also allow me to pursue other ideas and personal projects I thought of while I was in Eureka Springs.
Yes, plans changed, but so much for the better. I’m excited about the possibilities. I’ll keep you posted on how this all goes.
I got home from Eureka Springs last Sunday. Yes. It will be a week tomorrow. I had a couple hours of rest on Sunday, and then I hit it running after that. It has been a combination of things I planned, things I didn’t plan, and even some things that were unexpected, but it has all been good.
It has given me one excuse after another not to blog, though.
I keep planning to post some highlights from my session at the conference. Due to operator error (mine, not my friend who I asked to push the button), my session was not recorded. I didn’t set the camera up properly.
Here’s what I’m going to do instead. I will convert my handouts to PDF files tomorrow morning and post them here.
In the meantime, what am I going to do to combat forgetting to blog? I’m going to go back to writing things down. No, I haven’t gotten away from that, but I haven’t written down my blog schedule for the rest of the month either. That will happen tomorrow.
Have you ever gone to a conference and attended any pre-conference events, such as an open mic where you can read from a selection of your own work? The prospect is both exciting and terrifying. You don’t like to speak in public, but… you want to read something.
What do you do?
First of all, don’t panic. Here are some tips to help you successfully make it through an open mic reading.
This isn’t a competition. An audience at an open mic is friendly and supportive. They want to hear what you have to read and they want you to do well.
I don’t know when it became a trend to apologize for a work not being completely finished or for not being “as good as” someone else, but it is a trend that needs to stop. Don’t apologize for your work. Don’t apologize if you stumble over words because you’re nervous. Again, remember the people attending an open mic want you to do well. They will forgive you for things you think are unforgivable. There is no such thing as “unforgivable.”
The idea of open mics at pre-conference gatherings is to get to know your fellow conference-goers. No one expects a professional-level reading. You are there to network, learn, and have fun. This all starts at the open mic.
I can’t promise that these tips will completely get rid of your nervousness when you step up to the mic, but they will help. If you were to follow one tip at the exclusion of the others, that would be “have fun.” If you do that, the other two are pretty much moot.