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Into the Great Wide Open

I will miss the newsroom.

Into the Great Wide Open

Yesterday we had breaking news, a gas leak forcing evacuations in downtown Raleigh. I was tapped to produce a live cutins, giving people information the leak and which buildings were affected. There is no feeling like the rush of live TV and the hurry to get it right, get it now and get it on air.

In 41 days I will not have a job. My contract is up, and I do not want to renew.

Instead, I may do something scary: strike out on my own as a full-time freelancer. No full-time job for the first time in 11 years.

The NYT column, “Freakonomics” recently featured some advice about striving to catch the big fish — even when the small fish are easier, and sometime more fun, to chase.

Getting a full-time job I disliked, just to avoid the great unknown of unemployment, would be a small fish.

I started writing as a child; it has always been the only thing I said I wanted to do. Journalism was a way to earn a living until I could publish a book. That was the plan, anyway.

In college, I loved my experience at the newspaper, the Daily Egyptian. I fell in love with the idealism, the necessity of having a watchdog keep an eye on our corrupt and massive government. Many things led me to the Web and TV side of news, but writing scripts for anchors is not the same.

I’m not sure what will happen in 41 days when I wake up jobless. I may leap for joy. I may shake with fear.

But at least I’ll finally be working on my craft as a writer. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll catch a really big fish.