When I worked as a newspaper editor, I learned (the hard way) to never publish the first part of a multi-article series unless I had all parts in hand.
But my last post was published in November and I’m just writing part 2 at the end of January. Perhaps this “About me” will be a trilogy. Or, like “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” it might become a trilogy in five parts. I don’t know. I’m discovering, at age 70, how much I don’t know. (Although I could just edit the title and move on to something else, but where’s the fun in that?).
One thing I know is I love to write. And writing news can be addictive.
When my husband and I returned to my hometown of Tehachapi last year, there was a need for a reporter at the local newspaper. Perhaps I should mention that this was my first newspaper. In high school, I carefully typed out short articles to publicize club events and dropped them off at this newspaper, thrilled a few days later to find my words in print. The owners of the newspaper at the time gave me a scholarship when I graduated from high school — and my first full-time news job a few years later. I love this newspaper, and this town and I think people need news.
With many other projects on the back burner, I don’t want to be a full-time newspaper reporter or editor now. But I thought I could help out with a couple of stories per week until a full-timer could be found.
Five months later, I see that I’ve written more than 70 bylined articles for the paper and another 100 or so news briefs (some of them not-so-brief).
This is in addition to research for other projects, writing for a regional magazine, getting resettled, home repairs, a family member’s health issues and making more time to get together with children and grandchildren now that we live closer.
I turned 70 in November and it seemed like a really big number. But I’ve found that the busier I am, the less time I have to focus on age.
Still, at the end of a long deadline day, I sometimes think I should stop writing. But by the next morning, I have a new list of ideas.
And once in a while, I get feedback that reminds me of the importance of community journalism.
So, for today at least, I’m going to keep going.