GET SOME SLEEP
This is a case of do what I say, not what I do. (I’m writing this post at 11:36 PM the day it’s supposed to go live.)
Most of us think more clearly and are far more productive if we’ve had adequate sleep. For some, that means getting eight hours every night. For others, six or seven may do nicely. Consistency, they say, is most important.
On ikeepsafe.org, they recommend that we “unplug two hours before bed. This gives your brain a chance to unwind and get ready for sleep.”
No screen-time for two hours before bed? Hmm, I wonder …
“How do you get it all done? How do you work on multiple writing projects at once?”
The question came from an acquaintance I had met several times at a nearby writing conference. She apparently thought I had it all together as a disciplined writer.
Shh, I have a secret to tell you.
Wait for it.
I am an extrovert.
I know. I know. You’re shocked.
Despite the fact that this is apparent to anyone who has known me for, say, five minutes or so, I have only recently realized that I enjoy listening to a series of podcasts with the same host because I feel as if I know the person and we’re visiting out in cyberspace. “Hanging out” with fellow writers and other industry pros gets my mojo flowing and it inspires me to write.
Here are four mistakes to avoid in journalism and human interest:
I. TOO LONG – the Interview. The editor of The Times sent me off on my very first article. With high heels clicking and briefcase swinging, I knocked on the door of a soon-to-be-100-year-old. I settled myself in her antique rocker and began firing questions. After I’d filled two pages of notes, the centenarian nodded and fell sound asleep. I snuck out of her apartment with a half-written story and vowed to keep my interviews shorter.
The Short of it: Interviews should be 10 minutes for musicians and 20 minutes for everyone else. Do your research ahead of time. You’ll have a satchel full of pertinent questions to ask. The rest you can get from their website, or call them back later.