Things I’ve Learned
I have really learned a lot from doing the articles for the small mag that’s been taking my aviation pieces on a monthly basis. “Don’t describe the article in content and length before you’ve actually written it” is a biggie, who would have thought I would so often get it wrong? And not even in a predictable way: this one is 500 words too short and I have nothing at all to add to it, meanwhile that one is 1500 words too long and I can’t find anything to cut out except a stray word here and there.
I’ve landed myself in it two or three times now but I think I’ve learned my lesson, finally.
I’ve also confirmed what I always suspected, which is that having a deadline makes a phenomenal difference to me. Not just “I get things done” but that I even bother to start them. It’s depressing how much I need someone else to be tapping their foot at me, waiting, before I actually bother to get out of bed. Even so, it’s taken me six months to realise that having a hard and fast date for delivery is critical. The editor of the magazine is pretty laid-back and tells me to deliver stuff to her as soon as I have it finished.
After two episodes of “it’s critical now, haven’t you finished anything yet?” I’ve finally set myself a deadline, informing her of it and that if she has not received anything by that date, she should assume I’ve been run over by a marshal and write me out of future issues. This seems to be a frightening enough concept to spur me into motion and I am now delivering articles on a regular basis, which is good all around.
I’ve rediscovered the important of random scribbling done at the time. I’ve found a lot of content by going through old posts where I was simply chatting away, telling people what I’ve done and more importantly, how I felt about it. A lot of it is tripe, of course, but some of it is perfect and so vivid compared to my pale recollections. I know that means I should write more now, so that a future me can be grateful for my diligence. I’m not quite that organised.