Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Careening Down From My SF High

We landed at back in Chicago at about 3 a.m. this morning with one of those characteristically abrupt Midway descents. That sense of being on a down escalator out of control returned this morning when I eagerly pulled up The SF Chronicle's Web site to check out my story.

"Mommybloggers" Turn Their Hobby Into Profits

During my whirlwind trip to San Francisco, I remembered how much I love working. How nice it is to have license to introduce yourself to tons of interesting people and practically command them to sit down and tell you things. How people rush to get back to you. Unlike in the mommy world, people in the reporter world actually care about your deadlines.

Reporting on something that passionately interested me made it all so much better. Even when I had to stay up all night putting together the article so I could spend my one free day in SF with the kids and friends.

I looked forward to receiving a check for all my work and thought, I should definitely do more freelancing and forget about ever making money by blogging. Which is ironic since the topic of the article is making money by blogging, but what I learned from reporting it is that making a real living by writing a personal blog is less likely than having lightning strike me right at this instant.


And, I'm still here. No lightning.

However, when the article came out today I remembered the things I hate about working. At least about reporting for a newspaper. The story had to be drastically shortened, and this is after I had discarded so much of what I stayed up writing to get the piece into a length the editors would even be able to look at.

Inevitably, subtleties are lost when things get shortened. There are a lot of things that the blogging community won't like about this article, things that my original explained much more clearly. And I will probably get raked over the coals for those things by the mommybloggers. Of course, we don't write articles for the benefit of the people they're about, and the mainstream reader won't be too bothered by the lack of subtleties.

And from what I hear from reporters still working in the field, stories are going shorter and shorter. Eventually I fear that there will be little difference between a newspaper piece and a blurb on the Today show. In this case, there is still a big difference -- but not as much of a difference as I had hoped.

Oh well -- at least I have a ton of excellent reporting now sitting on my laptop, which I can and should now market elsewhere. I want to get this stuff read, because I met such extremely fascinating women this weekend, and what they are doing is changing the world. If nothing else, I could publish some of the interviews here.

But, you know, I want someone to give me some money. So we'll see.


Sara said...

Interesting article...I thought it was well-done!

Abby said...

Nicely done - what I would do to make money blogging too!