One reporter. Five stories. Three days.
Three days, and not a moment to lose. The to-do list was as follows:
- Contact and interview Wayne and Carla Anderson, local travel writers with a book scheduled for release in May.
- Contact and interview a travel writer (we chose local author John Drake Robinson, who I still need to call back. Oops.)
- Contact and interview someone from Anderson’s publishing company
- Read David Sedaris’ newest book: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls: Essays, Etc.
- Call six local people and ask them about their book suggestions for summer 2013
- Contact the President and Community Relations chair for Honor Flight
- Talk to a war veteran
And, when all is said and done..
- Transcribe every interview ever. Die a little bit inside.
- Write the two stories on Anderson
- Write the review
- Write the blurbs for book recommendations
- Write about Honor Flight, and make it compelling, dammit.
Right. No sweat. I could already see myself keeling over in public from exhaustion or running in front of a moving vehicle to get to an interview on time or, worst of all, presenting my editor with unfinished stories, wheedling about there only being 24 hours in a day. The nerve.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my time at Vox and at the Missourian, it’s how to manage time. This past week, these stories, were there to test my abilities. The eyes of the staff was upon me, and I scheduled, micro-managed and used every available minute.
My planner was color-coded, my laptop by my side at all times. I was Claire Landsbaum, Super Reporter.
In the end I finished everything by the dreaded “Thursday at two” deadline. I even, come to think of it, got five or more hours of sleep every night.
Tl;dr: When faced with an assignment that seems impossible, play at the top of your game. You’re up to the task and your editors know it, even if you might not know it yourself.