For eleven years, I’ve splashed around, somewhat haphazardly, writing stories on everything from ecology to biotech endeavors to academic careers. As a part-timer, I was partial to whatever ideas crossed my path.
But this year, with both kids in school, I have 30 glorious hours a week to pursue ideas with intent. I want to dive into the deep end of the journalism pool where rich, underreported stories often settle. I know there are sunken treasures that will take time and effort to bring to the surface.
I’ve decided to focus on an important topic—food security. There are three motivators: it’s important, it’s timely and I’ve already found an overlooked angle on this otherwise overwhelming topic.
But I didn’t realize how daunting it would be to take the plunge. It’s scary to go full bore into one area. Not surprisingly, the two biggest considerations are time and money. I’ve already spent several hundred dollars out of pocket to get face time with the scientists eager to put a new spin on old approaches. I’m treating this as a long-term investment–yet I’m already struggling to balance my time so that I maintain an income and submerge into this subject.
As always, I’m counting on my fellow writers to help me get through. Several of us started a goals group which will help me put some much-needed accountability into place. To that end, I’ve laid out fellowship deadlines, discovered some narrative-friendly reporting opportunities and sketched out story pitches.
Any other advice or thoughts welcome! Oh, and if someone finds me still sitting on the ledge in a month, give me a shove.