I guess the best part about being a journalist was the travel and the meeting different people all the time. The personal stories you collect over the years, the connections you make in far flung places, it is quite amazing. I am not a very social person, but as a journalist I was forced out of my little shell and interact with all kinds of people – the business types, the politicos, the man on the street, everyone. Working in communications, this experience has been very useful for me, although I don’t meet as many diverse people now, which is a shame really.
I don’t miss the running around after “narasumber”, or phoning up sources in the middle of their massages (yes that happened, such a nice man to pick up the phone in the middle of it, on a weekend too!), but I do miss the human stories. I loved listening to people’s stories and getting it on paper. It doesn’t take much, everybody has a story they want to share and it only takes receptiveness to get it out. It was always a challenge to get something out of a famous person that had never been written before. Sometimes though, you find a person already so well publicized, but who are so ready to tell you his/her story, that it felt a little like giving them a blowjob. I hated it when that happens.
I also miss having someone call me up to ask whether “that street children group has a refrigerator at its basecamp?” and you just know that nice man is going to donate a fridge. Or that occasional phone call “will you write my biography?”
I’ve always said that if I don’t have a 9-to-5 job I’ll most likely procrastinate the days away … that may be true, but there is nothing I’d like better than to write the human stories … someday, when I no longer have a 9-to-5.