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Crafting an article

It's much better to be chased than to do the chasing and risk getting rejected. I said yes to this freelance opportunity before I had time to think.

My first thoughts were 1) I've written about this topic already, 2) it's going to be easy, 3) why not?

I spent all evening making phone calls while surfing the Web to update myself on the industry. It was full of bad news. Who will feel like talking to me?

Like previous times, the first few phone calls were very informative. I thought I had the storyline nailed down. The next few calls started to confuse me. People disagreed. There was no consensus.

Do I write about the big picture? Or drill down to the nitty gritty? I want to get views from both sides of the Atlantic and from different types of players. But I also want to deliver real value.

I don't want to be buried in information that I can't use. This is not a dissertation, but merely 1,800 words which will fill three or four pages.

As I agonise over this, I feel it taking over my life. I can't sit down and practise piano with ease anymore. I have a deadline.

I told my friend, it's like figuring out what to cook for a dinner party. You've been to such dinner parties before and you know what you like. But you're not sure what the others like. You have to survey previous guests, look at previous menus.

At some point, the information collection stage has to cease. Then I will choose the ones that I will use. By that time, I should have a plot. But until then, I'm a slave to the deadline.

17 October 2002 Thursday

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