Did I mention the other day that Friday (Feb. 18) was my two-year anniversary at the News-Press? Yup. I’m officially a veteran, I suppose. Does it matter that I don’t feel like a veteran? Nah.
I asked Trinity last week why I still want to be a reporter. I mean, where is my fulfillment, people? I’m certainly not making what most would consider “good money” nor do I work a short workday. (I used to – in fact, I once worked a web job at a gallery where the hours were from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. And it was in the Pacific Palisades, so almost immediately after work, I would go home to the Santa Monica apartment I was living in – albeit on the couch, but whatever – and go rollerblading along PCH to gloat at the people stuck in traffic.) But, I figure that two years in a job that required two stories and two briefs from me (and photo assignment with at least one of those stories) every day, every week, that I would learn several things that could help me in any line of work I might pursue one day:
- Time management – that’s the only way to do so many things in 8 hours in a day. I remember, while working office jobs, thinking 8 hours was too long and how bored I would get. Now, 8 hours is not enough – I would actually prefer a 10 hour/4 day a week schedule if I could ever find that.
- Pluck – according to dictionary.com, pluck is “Resourceful courage and daring in the face of difficulties; spirit.” I can find the people I need to talk and get them to talk and be insistent and nice all at the same time. Trust me, being nice consistently is the hardest to do.
- Organization – I think I’m the only reporter who writes in different colors to differentiate my notes. Notes, as we all know, are almost always messy anyway, so there has to be some organization. Plus, I’ve got files. Have you got files? I’ve got files, baby.
- And last, but not least, I achieved what I set out to do – which is learning to write cleanly and concisely. That’s not always clear – I still have to work on my ledes (“I always get a lot of meat in my stories, but its the garnish I have to work on”), but otherwise, even I’m amazed sometimes at the depth of my tiny 10-12 inch stories.
So, where do I go from here now? I just don’t know. I’m not sure if journalism fits into what I want in my life and what God wants in my life. Really, I know you think that’s a silly notion, but its important to me. He’s done a lot in my life, so the very least I can do is think of Him first. Being a journalist translates into my life being stressful and devoted to my career, and I don’t believe any life should be devoted to a career. That’s not what life is about. So I don’t know yet.