Deadlines, too

Just like Cone’s, the deadline for my bi-weekly N&R columns changed last week… or at least I think it did.  I received a call from Allen Johnson last Tuesday asking me to submit by noon on Friday to fill my 580-word space for the following Wednesday’s edition – a five day lag time.  He didn’t say it was a permanent change from where I had been for the past year and a half – Monday @ noon… a scant day and a half before publication – but I’m thinking it will probably be that way from here on out should I (and/or they) decide to continue publishing my opinion every other week.

Also, like Ed, I think the folks on Market Street have been very fair and patient with me, but I don’t think they are the best of communicators.  To wit: my on-deadline submission of four weeks ago was not published because of a (previously unknown to me) policy against political endorsements by local columnists.  Two weeks later, I had my column in the can by Monday morning and hit the send button to email it.  I then went to work and didn’t get home until late so didn’t check email until the next morning (Tuesday, election day).  That’s when I found the correspondence and Word attachment languishing in my ‘outbox’.  I hit ‘resend’, but by then it was too late.  I’d lost my spot.  A call or email from the N&R on Monday after my deadline passed would have alerted me to the problem. 

I’ve missed more than a couple of deadlines that were completely my fault since I started, but – as I said – they have always  been patient with me and always welcomed me back when I got it right and in on time fortnight later.

Here’s the thing: I have a real love/hate thing going with this column writing business.  The pay is squat so getting published is a costly self-indulgence that sucks money away from my business and time from my family twice a month.  But, as ex-N&R columnist Jim Rosenberg says at Cone’s, I enjoy ”the mini-celebrity” my published missives create for me on the street.  In addition, as I considered a run for public office, the column afforded me a level of name recognition that is almost incalcuable.  But now that my business has taken over much of my public service time, I find that such recognition doesn’t get me any additional window fixin’ jobs.

So… if my opinion keeps appearing in the paper in the future, it will not be as fresh as it could be because of the five day gap between deadline and publication.  But, they have a business to run and I understand.  So I’ll either do as they ask… or I won’t and go back exclusively to blogging to get my thoughts out to the world.

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One Comment

  1. Posted November 19, 2007 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    your deadline may have shifted this week for thnxgiving…

    …of which i hope the hoggards have a fine one.