Freelancing / Journalism skills

Clutching at straws: my mind is in 2014

As well as my full-time job, I write for my local magazine and I am in charge of the community section. That is, all community news, events, fundraisers and features across the local area. I have never fallen short for feature and news ideas and, doing this in the evenings and weekends, I have always made sure I am fully prepared for the upcoming deadline.

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Yes, we plan in advance. And by ‘in advance’ I don’t mean a month in advance: I mean in October, Christmas had been and gone for me. I was in the depths of 2014, trying desperately to claw out of our local residents WHAT was going on in 2014. And did they care? Not really. The thing is, Christmas in advance is easy. If you’re anything like me, I started getting excited about Christmas in September. Adverts on TV, Christmas catalogues and the initial lurking of Christmas jumpers are out nearly two months before Christmas! Finding news and features for my December issue was easy, in fact, the hard part was trying to organise what to include and what I didn’t have room to include! Everyone was on my beck and call with ideas, news and events for the festive season – I had emails coming through, phones calls (unusual) and more emails telling me what they were doing, and how they were celebrating this season.

Always lovely to see your name in print... still!

Always lovely to see your name in print… still!

And then December was sent to press, and I was forced to break the festive cheer by asking about 2014. Did anyone have anything for me? No. I really did feel like I was clutching at straws, and it made it even worse that I had longer to work on this issue after December was finished early, and STILL got panicky nearing deadline day when no one was getting back to me, nothing was ‘going on’ and I couldn’t find a story. I was sending out emails, calling up, reading the council’s newsletters, to try and fast forward the town to January for a day or two, learn what was going on, and then rewind back to reality, which was October. Unfortunately life isn’t as easy as a remote control and slowly but surely, the stories began crawling in…

Luckily, by deadline day, as always happens – everything turned out okay and I filled up by four pages of community news but perhaps with not the most exciting articles. To be honest, if I had someone badgering me in October about what was going on with my society January next year, I’d probably tell them to slow down, Christmas isn’t even here yet! December is such a busy season and so many events are put on for it, that the aftermath is a bit of a sigh of relief – over for another year.

My Yankee candle... a regular addition to my evenings of writing.

My Yankee candle… a regular addition to my evenings of writing.

Now I’m on February, and so far things are looking up content-wise. I don’t really want to be writing about the benefits of credit unions again thanks…


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