One of the things I’ve always tried to keep in mind as a journalist is the role the profession plays in recording history. That sounds a little high and mighty, doesn’t it? But in a lot of cases, it’s true.
News by definition is something out of the ordinary, the unexpected, the tragic. Yes, it can also mean something interesting without any of the more “hard news” aspects as a story. Feature stories fall into that category. Telling how something happened that may not have affected thousands or millions of people, the planet or any other species we share the earth with can still be important and worth reading.
I recently spent a lot of time looking back at some local history. Where I live on Colorado’s Front Range, Continue reading “History can be a blast”
“Time is money” is a saying most people have probably heard. It’s something I’ve found to be true over and over again. And now that I’m freelancing, I’ve kept it in mind nearly every day.
Most of my clients pay per word or per project, only one pays an hourly rate. (They pay well, too, but it’s pretty sporadic.) To track how much time I spend on a project, article or story, I use Toggl. I’m using it now to track how much time I spend writing this blog post, too. It’s all career-connected, right?
One of the most recent stories I finished probably set a personal record. It was about the 50th anniversary of a Colorado municipality. Since the records Continue reading “Time to determine my worth?”
For freelance writers like me, with a strong journalism background, one of the areas I’ve wanted to learn more about and give a good try is story pitching.
Instead of having an editor assign stories, the writer tries to convince an editor they should publish or post a story. As a reporter, I would often actually pitch story ideas to my editor. But one main difference was those stories often resulted from some event or news release I read that morning. And since stories, or content, is what newspapers, TV stations and any other news outlet need to survive, it wasn’t too hard to get my editor to say “go do it, Mike.” 👍
As a freelancer, I don’t have that relationship with an editor. I get asked by clients to do this story or that story, Continue reading “Pitching my pitch gets closer”
There’s a lot to be said about doing what you love as your profession. Not everyone does just that or is lucky enough to find a way to make a little money as they progress through life by doing something that excites them and keeps them motivated.
I’ve been one of the lucky ones and I have been reminded of that fact many times in my life. Most recently, I had a little downtime in writing assignments. I used that time to do some personal organizing and downsizing, other activities I find I like and look forward to when I get the chance.
But two assignments since then reinforced my love for writing. The subjects are interesting and the people I interview and facts I research for the stories are Continue reading “Passion comes with doing what you love”
Over the last year or so, I’ve often wondered what someone who isn’t a journalist thinks when their profession is repeatedly publicly ridiculed and vilified.
Law enforcement officers, lawyers and politicians would probably fall into that category. Those who work in these professions — and probably many others — as well as journalists have to have tough skins. They have to take criticism in stride and not let it stop them from doing their jobs to the best of their abilities.
For the most part, I’ve been able to keep moving forward in the face of criticism over the course of my journalism career, learning from my mistakes and taking steps to be a better writer and person. But when I heard about the shooting deaths of four journalists and a sales assistant Continue reading “I’m not an enemy of the people”