What working for a newspaper does to you
I have limited myself to two lede happenings a day; work, and keeping a spatiotemporally strained relationship working
It has been over a year since I started editing stories for this newspaper. The job itself is not particularly complex: there are just a few things I need to keep in mind. A shoulder is not something people lean (or cry) on. And datelines have nothing to do with dates.
We use British spellings. It’s 'realised', not 'realized'. I must use ‘that’ sparingly. I have to economise on words, as we believe that saying something succinctly is more effective than a verbose treatise that winds and unwinds its way to senselessness.
I sometimes fish for catchphrases.
I have been made to realise that space is precious. I have learnt to conserve. I have learnt to cast away needless details and learnt to stick to facts. I have whittled and cut, pared and abbreviated. I have learned to allocate space to what is important, and take from what is redundant. I picture news in columns and word counts.
I like to believe that I play a demigod, giving shape to raw history as it is recorded on our pages.
My work defines me. It has begun permeating my personal space. I am (modestly) skilled in the art of editing, so I have adapted by whittling away on the needless specifics of everyday life.
I work asynchronously with the rest of the world, so my social/leisure time has definite temporal dimensions. I have realised that I have too many friends. I cannot possibly entertain them all. I have started by cutting some out. I have a lot of ‘somebodys I used to know’ in my phonebook. I think that that is quite needless. I will edit it down to 100 people come Sunday.
I have realised I can no longer make time for that TV show I watch just because my girlfriend makes me. I have edited that out of my life. I started by sacrificing Saturday night get-togethers (they are too recurrent a feature in the Sisyphean nightmare that is my life), but have recently realised that weddings should go too. I visit funerals sparingly, because everyone dies eventually.
I have limited myself to two lede happenings a day. One is work; the other is keeping a spatiotemporally strained relationship working.
All the rest gets relegated to the margins of my existence.
Read more by Zain here.