10/24/08

Writing is hard. Writing is fantastic.

My employment history in its entirety could make a nice, long novel. Chances are that it probably will one day. I realized today that writing is my most difficult work. This changed over the years, because when I was writing for the college paper and as an intern for the Wings, I was a writing monster. I produced articles weekly. I barely had the time to think. I only had time to write.

Currently my work is not writing focused, so now I have time to think. There are aspects of my profession that include writing, but my paycheck isn't based on articles and other creations of the written word. Until just the other day.

I got back on the horse and started back into sports feature writing. It was great to see fellow writers and my radio buddies. My first deadline in a year went relatively smooth, but that's because I had time with my article. I took notes. I collected information efficiently. Interviewing is what always makes me most nervous and I always seem to get through it while having fun. Even the transcribing seemed less painful, though still quite despicable. I sat down to write it, got it done in pieces and turned it in on time.

How did I write before? I was a machine. Journalists write like this for a living and my first deadline in a year reminded me why I can't be a daily writer - I can't write that fast. I simmer in my writing. I think about it. I listen to my interviews. I make a plan. Slowly, I proceed slowly. I never start writing until I'm ready to sit down with a really solid idea of what's coming next. In a world of daily deadlines, that's not acceptable. But in the world of freelancing, where I only take as much work as I see fit, I have comfort.I have time.

Though I feel like I have improved in different parts of my writing processes. I thought I did fairly good interviews. Added good facts. Created a workable outline., I still thought it was challenging. Maybe it's because it's been my first sports piece in such a long time. Sure, you get in a groove and all the sudden a 1,000 words appear, but I realized that those words came with a price - time, thinking, note-taking, re-writing. Then you reread, you realize there are some problems. You fix the problems. You rearrange. You find a synonym.

The writing process invigorated me and stressed me out at the same time. Not quite as stressed as I was before (read unpaid), but I felt that "write until done" urgency. When the last word is written and the editor has had his/her fill, it is like heaven. Nothing feels better than that of completing a piece of writing. It is an accomplishment that even in its smallest form or on a most meaningless topic, it is still complete. It is still good work.It was written.

Writing for this blog is nothing like finishing a piece on time and then getting a check mailed to you. There's nothing like having the eyes of many read your work. There's also something that delights me about seeing my name in print and not on a screen. It was my work. It made me happy. Others will read and enjoy it, I hope. It is my way of sharing. And this hockey article brought me to an understanding that the work that goes into writing is hard. It is very hard and it's a long journey. And I love it. I love every step of the way. Every word. Every letter.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Congrats on the paycheck, Eva! Double congrats on the pursuit.