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Do you feel odd around writers who crank stuff out?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pringle, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    OK, so I sit next to my editor/fellow writer every day, and the guy just sits there and cranks out his stories, pages, proofing duties, etc., etc. I'll hear the guy just hammering away over there while I float around on the Internet doing "research," stare at my blank screen for a while, curse the room under my breathe as stifling my creative flow, etc., etc., before finally getting down to work, and wondering if everyone is noticing how slowly I seem to move (yet in the end producing the same output in the same amount of time).

    I've worked with "pluggers" before, and I'm just wondering what's the norm ... I don't think the other guy always understands the way I work, either. In a nice way. He'll ask what I'm doing and I'll say something like, "Oh, just researching the last 15 years of tight ends at Penn State ... might be able to use it for this story." And he'll say something like, "Don't feel like you need to do that! You're overworking yourself." But it's like, "No, dude, that's just how I kind of work."

    Seems like there are two kinds of writers and they have trouble relating to one another's work habits. Am I right?
  2. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    everyone has their own process. whatever gets you to the end justifies your means.
  3. Taylee

    Taylee Member

    Everyone works differently. As long as you're productive, you should be OK. But if the other writer's stories are superior to yours because his are more interesting, better researched and take less time to edit because he's more diligent and you're wasting time "browsing," then you have a problem ... and you also would have a good role model.
  4. PHINJ

    PHINJ Active Member

    My guess is that since you're taking time to do more research and to think about the story, your stories are more interesting. Not to knock the other guy, but sheesh, taking 15 minutes to do some research is overworking?
  5. fmrsped

    fmrsped Active Member

    Tell me I'm not the only one a little uncomfortable with the thread title.

    I feel a little odd when writers around me crank one out, yes.
  6. The first person I thought of when I saw this thread: Mark Whicker.

    I don't see him in action as much as I used to, but he'd sit there for a minute, take a breath, then write something in hardly any time that almost always was the best thing written on that particular event. Breathtaking.
  7. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    Oh, none of that's the case. I just ... feel weird ... working right alongside someone plugging away at stuff when I don't work that way. It's almost like a language barrier, in a way. Or like I'm constantly justifying to myself that the way I work is OK, too, but at the same time feel it would be tough to explain to someone else without coming off like a slacker.

    I know writers are procrastinators by nature. So being around people who definitely are not throws me for a bit of a loop, I guess.

    This also feels like the only profession where you can work that way. I don't think teachers say, "I'll get down to the nitty gritty of teaching my class as soon as I finish finding stats for Michigan's last 10 back-up QBs."
  8. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    Oh, I'm really good on deadline or when there is something pressing to accomplish. It's when there's "down time" that my methods become very ... procrastinatory.
  9. Rockbottom

    Rockbottom Well-Known Member

    You and me both, brother (as I browse endlessly online at Major Conference Tournament site while mustering the will to do some work ...) PIDDLING! :)

  10. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Not sure that the whole time issue is relevant, unless it's causing deadlines to be missed. I'm a very fast writer, but that's because I write the first several paragraphs in my head driving from an event to the office. By the time I sit down to a computer, the story is already partially done. Does that mean my stuff isn't as good because it doesn't take me as long?

    Every writer has their own style. Don't let someone try to change yours.
  11. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    When Whicker was in Philly and the papers were on strike, he freelanced a Monday Night Football game for us. He filed running and a top and I'm reading it, going, "holy fucking shit, this is better than a lot of people's writethroughs are gonna be."
  12. Pringle

    Pringle Active Member

    At one of my former shops, we had the grinder of all grinders who would just crank out copy for eight solid hours without coming up for a breathe of air. No enterprise, mind you. But a lot of breaking news and solid prep features.

    But dude - great guy, by the way - would constantly look over other people's shoulder from where he sat and say things, so everyone could hear it, like, "Finding out a lot about the upcoming Podunk North vs. Podunk South game at Rolling Stone.com?"

    So I think I developed a paranoia from that.
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