Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.
– Henry David Thoreau
I’ve never been busier as a freelancer. A couple of years busting my butt to build a creative nonfiction portfolio is finally starting to pay off – and I’m loving the fact that I’ve got interviews every day, a calendar full of deadlines, and fantastic stories to pursue. Current projects include learning how the lights and windows on a Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” are designed to make passengers feel less nervous; how pilots really feel about turbulence; how refugees transition into Portland, and the motivated people who work hard to make sure new arrivals don’t fall through the cracks in a complex system; and what it really means to perform magic on the summer solstice. I feel like I can’t possibly read enough or talk to enough people – there is so much to learn.
And after all that research… time to do as Thoreau said and cut, cut, hone and cut some more. Writing is really just learning to give up what you thought you wanted in favor of what the story wants. Renunciation plays big in the editing process, as does humility.
There’s some great stuff coming your way this summer – I’ll post individual articles as they are finished and go up. Stay tuned!
Big sky photo from Peter Kurdulija, Flickr Creative Commons