For the last few days, ok, the last week, at work I've been struggling with turning a topic into a story idea. So I have a topic. We'll call it topic X. But - painful journalism lesson #1 - a topic is not a story. And every day that the story line fails to pop into my head, I feel worse about myself. Finally, Friday and today, I kind of turned a corner and made some calls to people who I hope will tell me what is up with topic X.
Then on the way home, McG (my other editor, who also gives me rides home, bless her convertible-driving heart), was like, so, how is Topic X going, and I was like, well, here's what I know about it, but I don't think it's that interesting, so I dunno what the story is. And I think I must have sounded really depressed, because she went off on this whole thing about how hard it is when you first start examining some nebulous area of topic, and you never know if it's going to work out, and it's so scary. And I was like, aw, really? It's not just me? And she's like, nope. She's been a journalist for almost as long as I've been alive, so she's speaking with authority here. And I said, so I guess I just haven't been doing it for long enough to know it always works out. And she said, no no, sometimes it doesn't work out at all, but it's fun!
McG is the best. It was very reassuring. And here's hoping all the people I talk to this week are in the mood to be chatty and tell me stories about topic X.