The Deep End

When you’re getting started, you do too much work, and not the right kind of work, because you’re all over the place. You have good intentions, but it’s only by gradual evolution that you hone your methods, and you see what’s of value and what’s not. I actually believe in this progression of the learning curve, but I also believe that learning curves shouldn’t be too whimsical and easy. I think they should be as steep as hell. As I have written before, a life without steep learning curves is no life at all. Go ahead: dive into the deep end. Grit your teeth and jump. Take no prisoners while you’re at it. That means, set your goals high. It’s much easier to pitch something that’s got bells and whistles, a holy grail… so long as you have a chance at bringing it in. There’s something important to mention here… and it was the bane of my life for a long, long while. It’s that if you pitch something to ANYONE, except something like the Blandford Forum Gazette, they are going to ask you who you’ve written for before. And of course the truth is that you’ve never written for anyone, except your Cub Scout Magazine when you were nine. In the days of old, you could promise clippings which never quite made it because of the mail system. But these days editors expect hot links to web pages. You can send them blog links, but they’re still a bit haughty when it comes to blogs. So you can try and get some articles, small pieces, up on the web, or at least a page for yourself on Wikipedia. It means that when you’re googled, you’ve got a presence. So… yes, it’s a fabulous steep learning curve to try riding the metaphorical bucking bronco on day one. It means that on day two you’re going to be far less raw, even if you’ve been knocked around a bit. But you’ll be on your way.

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