Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Focused on the Prose

Lost in Prose
Not to get too existential, but the above photo really illustrates where my head is at these days. Quite simply, I'm fried. Sixteen years into this goofy career, I find myself highly skilled, gainfully employed and woefully underwhelmed. How did this happen? I used to be the guy who'd tackle any gig with unbridled enthusiasm, but lately ... it's all I can do to pretend to give a flip. Is it due to the fact that I'm a scant few months from the big 4-0? Is it because the industry I toil in has devolved into nothing more than pixelated gimmickry? Could it be that my tiny taste of writing renown has whet my appetite for more, more, more? My guess is YES. But whatever the reason, I find myself in the same state of mind that's driven generations of gifted broadcasters out of the biz.

So, am I quitting? Nope. My offsprings' insistence on eating every four hours precludes such a rash tactic, though I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about it pretty damn often. It's not my station's fault. The people I work for and with produce a fine product and I'll happily crank out my share for as long as they'll have me. That said, I think I need a lobotomy, a sabbatical or a swift kick in the tripod to re-ignite my passion. Maybe then, I'll once again be as enthused and effective as this guy. Until then, allow me the occasional foray into self-absorption, would ya? See, this blog is my therapy - an outlet to express myself, to spotlight a few unsung heroes and to inch toward a lifelong dream.

But therein lies the rub. I spent the first thirty five years of my life thinking about writing. When I finally got around to developing the required discipline, I chose the one subject I have a love/hate relationship with: TV news. What was I thinking? Why didn't I choose something lofty and less tangible to hold forth on? How come I picked the one thing that infuriates me like no other as my topic of choice? Couldn't I have honed my skills with shrill political screeds and pet photo commentary like every other blogger? Why did I scribble myself into such an unsavory corner?

More importantly, why am I pelting you with rhetorical claptrap? You've been nothing but kind to me, checking in regularly to sample my tripe and lauding me with more praise than I ever deserved. I really should thank you - once I finish feeling sorry for myself, that is. I'm reminded of what best-seller Jerry Bledsoe told me last week. Actually, I don't remember his exact quote, but the delightfully cantankerous author took me into his lair and basically said, "Keep up the writing, Stewart - it's sure to bring you years of frustration." With that in mind I'll wrap up this little whining session - knowing that, by Jerry's logic, I'm right where I'm supposed to be. Join me next time for less navel-gazing and alot more snark. Until then, thanks for reading...

6 comments:

photogguy said...

Stewart, I also went through the same angst a few years ago, albeit without a blog then for an outlet.

After 18 years of filling the black hole that is our newscast, of beating my head against the wall at the illogic, of being continually frustrated with the schlock that our producers and assignment editors called news, I had an epiphany...

It's just a job. It's just a way to bring in money to feed the family.

I, too, used to be the enthusiastic young shooter who would never say no to an assignment, who would through his all into shooting video of a fire that happened five hours ago, who used to LIVE for the near-impossible live shots. I miss that guy.

But I've gotten over it. Don't beat yourself up too much.

herb said...

When a good friend of ours found himself in your predicament, he did this.

Carolyn said...

You write what you know. You're doing precisely what you should be...honing your voice, finding your place. And frankly, I'd think you were a schlub if you weren't reading as much as you could in your downtime.

Lighten up, francis. You're fine.

Bluedog Photog said...

Stew, I'm with Carolyn. Lighten up! We all go through it, and live another day despite it. Be glad you have a wonderful family to go home to and enjoy that part of your life. After all, 8 hours a day ain't so bad. At least you don't have to worry about too much OT! And here's the swift kick in the tripod: know that even on your worst day shooting, you still outshoot most! Thanks for the help in Danbury last week.

Colonel Corn's Camera said...

NO Stew, don't lighten up. It feeds your passion for writing. We write about the news because its good material and people think our work is interesting and cool. Your thoughts on how petty our job can be adds personal drama to the mix. Keep up the good work!

newshutr said...

What you don't see is the manual to the camera hidden inside of the book. He's looking up what end to look in..