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"getting" it.....

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Brain of J, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. Brain of J

    Brain of J Member

    OK, people, I'm sorry to keep coming up with threads on here that are probably wasting space.....
    But sometimes I need help and don't know where else to turn.
    I'm looking at leaving my place for a better one. Maybe I'm not ready, even though I really really really want to leave.
    Right now, my clips are solid, but I don't have anything that's outstanding.
    I work hard, look for ways to get better and I've already written stuff I'm happy to have.
    But how long does it take for a writer to get over the hump?
    I'm young, I've only been writing for a newspaper other than my college one for 8 months. Is there a certain point where your stuff starts improving more?
    I've interviewed at several places but so far I've been that guy who I think editors say "Well, he interviewed well, his clips are OK, but I think we better pass on him."
    Obviously it's different for each person, but how long did it take you to "get" it?
  2. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    All it takes is for one guy making the right decision. It doesn't happen like a light switch. You just keep going and one day you'll notice it.
  3. sartrean

    sartrean Member

    For me, after a year on a beat, things start to really click. Then I have way too much crap for any section, which is good, but also a headache.

    I usually get stressed out, and then the beat becomes monotony and I'm ready to move on. The grass is always greener. Yet I don't have much difficulty finding a good grass source once I've made the move.

    Things have to be somewhat new for me, because my writing lags, then peaks, then digresses with the monotony of the beat. Hard to explain, hope I came close.
  4. Brain of J

    Brain of J Member

    Thats kind of like my beat.
    I don't have stretches where I'm just always "on."
    I'll have struggles, and they're stressful struggles. I don't have a lot of editing, so I make a mistake and it gets through to print.
    I wish I knew more about which of my clips editors would like more than others.
    I may send the wrong clips, ones I thought were good but editors don't.
    Guess that comes with experience too, though.
  5. CradleRobber

    CradleRobber Active Member

    That's right, album number ten, Short Dawg's in the house
    It's gettin close to the end y'all
    But we gonna kick it like this on the last album

    Now let me holler at ya partner, spit this game
    in you ear for a minute, quit complaining
    Bout how you can't spend it cause you ain't got it
    You got what it takes but not enough to get started
    I hope you get the message, no it's not a test it's
    Just me ridin legit, they can't arrest me or bust me
    I'm still hungry, I want some more stuff
    Get fat and watch my whole crew blow up
    So get yours, and buy my new album
    Peep the game and don't be like Calvin
    Get everything you want, get real, get you mail
    Get your girl to make bail and get your ass out of jail
    You should be gettin it, everything you want
    Everything you dreamed of, never have to front
    you shoulf be gettin it, gettin money
    I'm talking bout you black, don't laugh it aint funny
    You should get a good lawyer, like Johnny Cochran
    Swear to tell the truth, hell no I didn't pop him
    Get your kids in school, so they can get an education
    Get a degree, and take a vacation
    You see I got all my game from the streets of California
    Young millionaire with no high school diploma
    Livin real good, taking care of my folks
    roll up a fat one for the players to smoke
    Short Dawg in the house, I know you aint trippin
    Cause Life is Too $hort you gotta Get In Where You Fit In
    Stop looking for what you never seem to find
    It ain't what you think you got to read between the lines
    Cause life ain't long, for a young black man
    Tryin to make money doing all he can
    Sellin dope don't ya hope he would go to classB
    But the boy makes money and he makes it fast
    with the twenties on top and the fifties on the bottom
    I fuck the top notches oh yes we got em
    It's been a long time since I first got down
    But I still keep makin these funky sounds
    Get your money man
    Get yours

    You should be gettin it
    Get it while the gettin is good, get it while you can
    You should be gettin it
    Get it while the gettin is good
  6. Moondoggy

    Moondoggy Member

    Take this for what it's worth, but the best clips are those that distinguish you from the crowd. So think about it. Everybody writes a nice game story. Everybody writes a nice feature. Not everybody breaks news. If I'm hiring a beat reporter, which is how most young writers start (preps, small colleges, whatever), I want someone whose writing is crisp, error-free, and tells me something I didn't know.

    We all love fancy writing, but 99 percent of this business is tough grunt work, making people tell you things that readers would find interesting.

    Hope that helps.
  7. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    The reporting stuff will come. I felt lost in my first job a lot of the time because I didn't know where to look for certain things. Still happens from time to time, but I have a pretty good idea what people need to know about now. Ask older reporters, editors, etc. for ideas. It can be as simple as that sometimes.
    As for the writing, you need to get someone who will disect your copy and work with you on a consistent basis. Had a guy during one of my internships who did that and now I've got a pseudo writing coach whose really helping me tighten up my stories.
    Find people who can help, and then show them you're dedicated to getting better.
  8. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Can I recommend also that you stop trying to write for clips? Just get into a story, really put some passion into your work, and the clips will come on their own. Writing when you're young is like exercising. It's hard to keep up the pace, sometimes, but that's when you have to stay on yourself. Write, write, write, write, write, write and write some more. That's the only way you're going to get better.

    And be patient, too. You're only eight months in. It's going to take a bit longer than that but it's absolutely worth it when you make it.
  9. Moondoggy

    Moondoggy Member

    Reporting is EVERYTHING.
  10. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    I've gone 32 years without getting it.

    Oh wait ...
  11. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member

    I got some this morning. ;)

    Anyway... Brain, I knew I always had a certain talent for this craft since I was younger, but it wasn't until I got myself in the right place where I was able to "get it." Proper direction from editors and being happy where I was at also played a big role.

    My first job out of college sucked and I was there for three months. I moved on to a slightly better gig, but I wasn't getting much feedback and I felt I wasn't getting better or learning anything. My third job was the charm and I have really settled in.

    Now, even if I "get it" I'm still not satisfied. What I love about this job is tomorrow or next week there is always another great story you can write, and write better than the previous time. Never stop wanting to get better and never get complacent.
  12. InTheSkeller

    InTheSkeller Member

    I didn't get it until I was 20, but she was the best I ever had. :eek:
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