As I've moved along in my career I've gained new skills and realized, as most people do over the course of a career, that I am better at some things than others and I am more interested in some things than others.
I became a journalist because I wanted to be a humor writer/columnist. I envisioned myself as a mix of Erma Bombeck and Art Buchwald. I even found an article recently from my days as a newspaper intern where I said that's what I wanted to do.
But in the early days I felt (and was told!) that I had to pay my dues first, by covering cops and courts and school board meetings and city council meetings. I let editors -- who felt I had potential for newsroom leadership (HA!) -- steer me toward covering hard news when really, I wanted to write about nothing. Kinda the way "Seinfeld" was a show about nothing.
At some point I realized that I was not a hard news reporter. I like the news of the quirky and odd. I like writing things that make people laugh. OK, things that make people chuckle. Alright, things that make people Mona Lisa smile, damn.
Anyways, I moved away from reporting and into editing and then transitioned into another area of the business, but still, the content focus has always primarily been hard news.
But I realized recently that I haven't used to full advantage some of the opportunities available to me.
To that end, I have two fun writing assignments right now. I plan to pitch more. The more I do it, the more I'll be asked to do it. Pretty soon, I'll be Queen of Stories About Nothing and you will all bow down and kiss my ring pop.
scribbling furiously in my notebook with a mad gleam in my eye
Corny power ballads from two sangin' azz chicks that I listen to when I need to fire up my mojo:
1. Make It Happen by Mariah Carey. Lyrics from the song that most inspire me:
If you believe in yourself enough and know what you want
You're gonna make it happen, make it happen
And if you get down on your knees at night, and pray to the Lord
He's gonna make it happen, make it happen
2. The Voice Within by Christina Aguilera. Lyrics from the song that most inspire me:
When there's no one else
Look inside yourself
Like your oldest friend
Just trust the voice within
Then you'll find the strength
That will guide your way
If you will learn to begin
To trust the voice within