Time to breathe

(Reblogged from Spring ’13 Advanced Reporting.)

Since I wrote a manifesto on honesty last Friday, I figure I’ll be honest with my post this week.

I’m a little exhausted right now.

I’ve been trying to spit out a first draft of my story for a few days. Every time I sit down, I promise myself that I’ll finish it. So I start typing and shuffling through my notes and pulling up my audio recordings and trying to make the words come out of my head so that they make sense and shaking the mildly oppressive feeling that my first draft isn’t going to be as good as I want it to be.

In my defense, I spent this week tying up the loose ends of my massive progress edition piece, which I worked on for more than six weeks (SIX WEEKS) and that currently totals more than 100 inches (100 INCHES) of copy in seven pieces (SEVEN PIECES). Understandably, I’m tired. It’s also the day before spring break, and by Friday afternoon I’ll have taken two exams in two days. Understandably, I’m tired.

But I’m also proud.

I’ve held my own with stories substantially longer and more involved than anything I ever touched in 4450. My writing is improving. (At the very least, I’m more aware of the things I need to fix. The first step to solving a problem…) My interviews are better, and I’m more confident and prepared when I talk to people.

I even have sweet business cards now — matte laminated with color on both sides.

My emotions are more than a little contradictory, which I find even more exhausting. I guess if there’s anything I’m noticing in my reporting, it’s how aware I’m becoming of what I do well and what I don’t do well. Sometimes, it’s almost paralyzing, like when I’m staring at a draft and recognizing everything about it that isn’t good (yet). And yet it’s also strangely liberating, because realizing where I’m growing and where I’m still lacking gives me the perspective to realize that I’m improving a lot, but that I’ve still got a long way to go, which is strangely comforting.

But really, what all of this means is that I’m thinking way too much when I should be studying for a test, which in turn means it’s time for me to be on spring break.

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