Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Going the distance

A big part of my job as a writer is writing about stuff I know nothing about but making people think that I do. I (hopefully) accomplish this by interviewing “experts in the field” and through research.

You might say that I learn a lot that way, and I guess I do while it’s being written. But, truthfully, by the time I’ve hit the send button to my editor, it’s 95% gone. Just like when I was in college. I’d take the test, dump the information and then go get a margarita. I’m kidding about the margarita – sort of.

Recently, I wrote an article on “17 free things to do with your children,” a fact that came up during a recent conversation with a friend.

“Oh, that sounds great." she said. "What were they?”

I could only think of one. I guess I’ll have to read my article.

Perhaps the most difficult articles for me to write are on sports. I realize all too greatly that one slip could let the world know that “She doesn’t really know what’s she’s talking about, and I bet she’s never even seen an Olympic-style wrestling match!” Or is it called Greco-Roman? Or mat? And do they square-off or face-off or neither? That one is still in the works.

The problem I find with sports articles is that coaches assume you know what they are talking about, plus they really don’t say anything, no offense. When my daughter played high school lacrosse, I was in charge of writing press releases for the paper. I sweated out one article, in which I thought I did a pretty darn good in explaining the history of the game (Native Americans sometimes played it for days in preparation for war.), but, sadly, no one knew what actually happened during the game. Fortunately, for me one of the paper’s sports writers took over. If you ask me, those guys should get paid more!

So, here I sit, with the ball in my court, going the extra mile on my sports article, hoping that this one will be a homerun, and I won’t be the weakest link, out in left field or drop the ball. I’ll do my best to cover my bases, and I hope I won’t be blindsided, thrown a curveball or get knocked down for the count. If so, I’m calling foul play and then this will be a whole new ballgame! Sorry, just practicing.


Angela McRae said...

Too funny! And by the way, a friend at work has already told me she finds your "17 Things" article quite useful and is going to do some of the activities with her children!

Meredith Leigh Knight said...

That truly makes my day! I'm so glad! I thought you might like this one!