For the past two months I’ve been reporting on Board of Education meetings every other Tuesday night for an online newspaper. I never linked them in my blog because I felt that unless you lived in the town, it would be a boring read. And since most of my readership, according to my stats, are from other countries, I felt a local BOE meeting wasn’t worth blogging about. I didn’t even include these meetings in my website/newsletter.
I wasn’t crazy about covering BOE meetings. In fact, that was the least thing I looked forward in my work week. But it was something different, it was uncovered ground for me, therefore a bit of a challenge and a learning experience, so I pushed myself.
My husband was proud of the work I did and so encouraging. I used to love coming home late and he’d be waiting for me. He’d sit with me in my office, as I sipped wine and typed my article and we’d have a few laughs over what was discussed at the meeting.
Last night the BOE meeting ran from 7:30 to 11:30 — a four hour meeting! This was just absurd. Then I had to come home and write the first article (note: the meeting was so long, at least I got to break it up into two articles). But today I can work more leisurely on the second article which I’ll do after lunch. I’m procrastinating because I’m “just not that into it.”
Now, mind you, I am not one to complain about working many hours. I worked at a New York City weekly for some time in the past. I was used to crazy hours. Every Tuesday night I worked until at least 11 p.m., then I had to commute home to NJ (which took about 40 minutes, but at least I could sleep on the train or bus).
The punch line is, the NYC weekly was very generous and classy. If there was an emergency and you had to stay later than you planned, you were not only given a bonus, you could be sent home in a cab rather than having to use mass transit, which was always nice. (And one time I did some work for Conde Nast and got sent home in a town car — even nicer!)
When an online newspaper doesn’t have it in the budget to compensate when a writer goes above and beyond, it’s time to say so long and allow the universe to open up to newer things. Perhaps I am spoiled, but I do know when something isn’t working to my advantage and it’s time to just say “no.”
I told my editor, this morning in an email, “This is not for me.”
Although the BOE meetings were a very small chapter in my career, I am just so happy that small chapter has come to an end.
So, moving forward, I’m sticking to the writing jobs that are working for me: covering school events because I LOVE talking to the kids and it’s so rewarding; interviewing musicians because the comped tickets for shows and concerts are the greatest perk of being a writer; writing for the health magazine because it’s fast easy work that pays generously and I get to help/inspire people; and managing my five senior entertainers because they are so loyal to me and appreciate my good work.
The door is now open for more possibilities. Universe, bring it on!