A conversation with courage

Possibly the hottest piece of my career so far hovers on the horizon.

We’re not talking breaking political news or even a critical review, no scandal, sex, or groundbreaking discovery.

That’s true, but for me it might as well be. It’s high end, controversial, and coveted in journalistic circles. I’m scared.

Why are you scared?

I don’t know really. I feel paralysed with it.

But if you were writing for your professor 25 years ago, you wouldn’t be afraid.

True. But he’d be there to guide me, and all I’d be afraid of was a grade. This time my reputation is on the line – my future.

Do you think you can’t do it?

No. I can do it.

Do you think you’re too stupid?

No. I’m not too stupid.

So, you’re afraid of yourself.¬†You’re afraid that this one event could determine your entire future worth.

Possibly yes.

But no single event determines your entire future worth. There are always opportunities to try again. You should let yourself drop all that pressure; you should try to enjoy the opportunity. Enjoy your own life, with its failures and successes, savour what you’re doing. Because what you’re doing today is more exciting than what you did yesterday; and that’s enough for now. Isn’t it?

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Just a little jaunt

The thing about publishing is that there’s always this tug-of-war between the editor and marketing. Editors want quality content and believe that a good read will attract advertisers. The marketing department, well, they feel differently.

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I’m on my way to a biz lunch to nurse along a three-way meeting that involves a new client and the monster. This basically means that when marketing speaks I’ll be like, “What he really means is that we want to provide you with fantastic articles that promote your company. He didn’t mean we want to make a buck off you.”

I hate this. I despise it. Twenty years as a wife has taught me to do it well, however. Following in the wake of my husband at various social events, sweetly apologising for things he didn’t really mean to say. Some things never change.

Two hours each way for a single lunch. You have to admit that I’m devoted. The upshot is that my 19 year old asked me to meet her halfway home to ride the train together, and that – quite frankly – makes it all worth while.