I have to focus on work for a few days. And that’s a good thing; I’ve been an accidentally full-time blogger, podcaster and geek for three months, since Black Tuesday gutted my industry. There have been a lot more cuts to newspapers since, and more to come. Every week, I hear from another longtime friend whose dedication and hard work have been cast to the curb. It’s sad.
But things changed today when I turned a big corner in my attempts to get back into writing. See, I haven’t written professionally (aside from a few bits here and there) for close to a decade, since I became an editor. Now I’m back at the keyboard, working on actual news assignments for an actual newspaper. It’s exciting. I’m having a great time building new networks, connecting with contacts, interviewing and trying to work magic with language.
This is not a full-time job; it’s a steady and well-paying freelance gig that will get me through the summer and, if I work hard enough, lead to work for other publications. For now, at least, I’m about to be a freelance writer again, something I did in the early 90s and really enjoyed.
Like I said on the latest Weather Station 3 podcast: Being a journalist is something that doesn’t go away. It isn’t just a job. It’s a life. And wherever I go from here — I could end up in PR, or corporate communications, or government — I will always be a reporter at heart.