During a recent solitary beach walk I remembered my early days of freelance reporting for a small town newspaper in Saskatchewan. One particular memory came to mind and I had to smile as I was recollecting the experience.
I had received my first assignment covering an arts and culture event and I was wondering about the length of the article I was expected to turn in for the next day deadline. I had less than 12 hours to put pen to paper and create something informative and meaningful. The answer from the editor was swift: “Keep it to 400 words… that’s about all the bum can take.”
Once I picked up my jaw after it hit the proverbial ground I quickly realized that this little side gig I had secured for myself to hone my skills and gain experience was not going to provide me with an opportunity to put much soul into the reports I was to turn in. However, it was a time filled with valuable lessons. Every so often I was able to stretch a submission to 600 words without any of them landing in the trash. Mostly they asked for photographs. That was easy as I love to capture situations and special events. I lasted three years with the weekly paper and I am happy I did. It taught me flexibility, working to a tight deadline, meeting the editors’ expectations, connecting with community members, and I had ample opportunities to practice patience and humility. I continue to draw from these lessons every day. And now, that I am recommitting to my writing through this blog, I keep the lessons close by with the sincere intent to build on them.
Back to my original query: How long should my blog entries be? How much time do you have and how interested are you in a specific topic? I added more photographs to today’s post as some readers will enjoy the photos more than the written word. And I am perfectly fine with that… do take a minute today and please weigh in with a comment. Do you prefer photographs? Do you enjoy the contemplative writing? Or, do you come for a combination of both? I care and I will respond to every comment personally, I promise.
The need to express myself through artistic endeavors is strong. Some days I am satisfied with posting just one image and an accompanying haiku, other days I feel compelled to let my contemplative thoughts get transported to the page, like today. What ignites my passion?
Much like a magpie or crow I look for “sparkles”. Sometimes they are literally shiny bits and other times a quick thought might enter my mind and I am off running with an idea that keeps morphing into an involved project that spans over weeks. I am grateful for this site. Designating it to be a paid for blog is a psychological crutch for me. When I pay for something I commit fully. Free blogs are just too easy to abandon and delete.They are also often littered with inappropriate advertisements that not always reflect my interests or the organizations I support.
This is only day three of blogging on my new site. So far, so good as they say… I am drawing much of my inspiration from my surroundings. So many of us in Nova Scotia refer to the province as paradise and Canada’s Ocean Playground. We had a major hick-up in April with a big spike in Covid cases. Our little town had its first confirmed case in early May since the pandemic took hold in Canada. I continue to feel so very fortunate to live here. Neighbours quickly adjusted to tightening of the rules, our small bubble of four pulled together and helped each other out by shopping for another and connecting on a smaller scale. We continued to embark on beach walks close to home to feed the senses and clear the mind. It signified a return to being more introspective and at the same time sparked my ambition to pick up my fountain pen on a daily basis, and eventually moving from the physical to the virtual page. I hope you join me regularly. Sign up for notifications regarding new posts! And don’t forget to weigh in with your thoughts.
Many thanks for stopping by today.
Best wishes, Anna