The First Rule of Deadlines…

I could have titled this post, “The 5 Things They Don’t Teach You in Journalism”, but that would’ve been pretty boring (and also would have meant that I would have skipped the chance to use a tired Chuck Palahniuk reference). I graduated with a Journalism-Print Diploma in the spring of 2008, since then I’ve been lucky enough to contribute to Snowboard Canada, SBC Business and the SBC Ski and Snowboard Resort Guide among other publications. Since then, I’ve learned a few things that I’d like to share (Actually, I just found the above photo off my phone and decided to run with it).

  1. Beer – Not just a nice thing to have, often a necessity when it’s time to come up with that groundbreaking conclusion. If you adhere to this guideline, make sure you pay extra attention to Rule #5.
  2. Word Counts – Character counts are strict business in the newspaper world, but when it comes to writing for magazines you’re bound to see a surprising amount of white space if you stick to the assigned word count.
  3. Contacts – If any of your contacts ask when your deadline is, always tell them it’s at least two weeks earlier than your actual deadline. That way, when they’re inevitably late getting back to you, you’re not hung out to dry.
  4. Writer’s Block – Is generally your own fault. Get the fuck off Facebook, close YouTube, put your phone down, plug in your headphones and focus. If your desperate for inspiration, reading generally does the trick.
  5. Editing – For the love of God, double check your work before you submit it. Once you “finish” your article, sleep on it, and then get up the next day and finish it for real.

That’s it. A man can’t give out all his secrets.

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