Deadlines are a haunting and exhilarating piece to a journalist’s life. But many times, deadlines are longer than you need.
Say you are writing a profile on a musician with no time value. You have all week and it’s just Monday. Interview is on Tuesday morning. Then what?
I’ve been dealing with long deadlines lately, and been thinking about how I can be productive while waiting on a call back, or between interviews, besides the traditional fact-checking and organizing of my notes.
Here are a few ideas I have on how to increase productivity in your downtime:
1. Do a daily – Sometimes there are smaller pieces inside your much bigger piece that could stand by itself as a short daily. For example, an event preview, or an off-topic issue inside your bigger story. A lot of these could make a short daily story, or even a sidebar for your main project.
2. Make it multimedia – Get out that camera and shoot a video, and ask your subject to do an on-camera interview. Anything to add pizzazz or pop to your page is a good thing.
3. Pursue a project – Use that half hour between your interviews to look into your next big hit.
4. Learn a trade – If you don’t know how to use Final Cut, or InDesign, now is your chance. Lots of easy, quick tutorials can help you master the basics and get some valuable skills.