Wednesday, August 01, 2007

In other thoughts about work, I've been meaning to write a post about what it's like to write "annual" stories for the second time. I talked about this a little bit back here, but it's happened here and there since March.

It's an interesting contrast. Sometimes, like in the links above, I can see noticeable improvements in my writing style. Other times over the past few months, though, I've approached an event and when I looked back at last year's story on it, it seemed that I was phoning this version in. Maybe it's because of a change in my mood or motivation or getting complacent now that I know what the "real" boundaries are and when I can push them. Or maybe it's a first-year thing, and anyone would take a very detailed look at their first stories about local culture even though it's not really needed. For example, I remember getting talked to by my boss once about a business story that was unnecessarily wordy and explained too much, mostly because even though I had been here for a while, I hadn't done it before and that exposition would have been needed for me; maybe the same thing went on with local interest stories. I think my interviewing has got better, although that's a much harder thing to examine.

And on the strictly positive side, something I noticed when I went back to find early posts about work, we have one aspect of the first month: deadlines. On March 15, did I seriously struggle to get one and a half stories done on a Wednesday, and not finish until 2:30? Wow. Well, by the numbers I guess I didn't do too much better than that today, and I don't know what Monday and Tuesday were like that week more than a year ago, but that sounds pretty bad. "Don't compare yourself to other people, compare yourself to yourself" — this week, I was indeed much better about planning and managing articles and juggling interviews than I was two weeks after I started at the place. Faint praise and all that, but still, yay me.

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