Another deadline down and another collection of sticky notes off my desk.
I’ve developed a system now. Each story has a sticky note dedicated to it. On the sticky note I write down the story’s temporary title, the sources I have to contact and each of the source’s contact information. I then stick them to my hutch so that they hang right in front of my face. As I contact the sources, I cross off their names, and as I complete the stories, I draw a huge check-mark across the sticky note.
This week I had one sticky note that I made me more nervous than I had been in a long time. It wasn’t because I was nervous about the story, like one last week, but because I couldn’t contact my most important source: the lady I was profiling.
After several days and several e-mails, we had decided on a phone interview Friday morning at either 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. What I didn’t know was what time was best for her and also what her phone number was. She had yet to give it to me.
It was just hours before my article was due and I still hadn’t heard from her. My roommate kept asking me if I was alright, as I constantly clicked refresh to check for an e-mail. I clicked it so much that I was able to delete the spam messages one by one as it entered my inbox. I checked the time on my phone so often that I had to plug it in so that it wouldn’t die from my abuse.
Finally, at 11 a.m., I received an incoming call from that fancy 314 area code. First thing I thought of was that it was a phone call asking where my story was; instead, it was her!
I have no idea how she had my number, but I sure was overjoyed to hear from her. After a chat on the phone and a little food while I calmed my nerves, I wrote the story. I checked off that last sticky note just in time.
Now my desk is clean of the old notes and ready for new ones.
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by Morgan Brown
- ▼ October (3)