Work (for real) and a little freak out.

For starters, I haven’t put on tennis shoes yet, and my feet have not hit the pavement. I have vertigo. I was busy with my kids. I needed to stare at a patch of grass. The excuses are endless.

So being home in Elma, I picked up a little freelance work with the local paper. I’ll tell you straight up, it’s been years since I did any real journalism. My column is fun and easy and rolls off my keyboard without any serious brain power or painful finger effort.

One of the problems with being out of the loop this long is that I forget basic journalism lingo. When my editor emailed my assignment, he asked for 3600 characters, or about twenty inches. There was a time when I didn’t even think about how long twenty inches was, it was just a given. 3600 words? Okay, I can make that happen.

After pestering my short list of people and getting sources squared away, I finally sat down to write. 600 words into the deal I was sweating bon bons and wondering if I should pad my article with future weather predictions and back alley gossip. I fasted, I prayed, I freaked out.

Then I realized it. My editor said characters. Characters aren’t words, they’re spaces. 3600 characters equals just about 800 words.

And here I was, wasting all that valuable freak-out time on nothing. It made me wonder just how often my freak outs are actually valid. I seriously think that most of the things we women flip our flops about are nothing more than semantical errors.

Must. Stop. Freaking. Out. All the time.


  1. Yes! Yes! I totally know where you’re coming from, here. I think somewhere deeeeeep in our souls, we somehow LIKE to freak out. Because clearly, history shows that most of the freaking out was entirely unnecessary, once the job is done.

    p.s. working for real is totally overrated. Have a nap. And a bon-bon.

  2. I freak out over stupid things too. Sigh.

  3. Isn’t it part of the female job description to freak out?

  4. If we didn’t freak out, who would?

  5. HA! I do that all.the.time… it’s just what we women do! 🙂

  6. At least you have something cool to freak out over! My freak-out over the pizza mushed into my light carpet pales in comparison.

    (which the previous owner should be smacked senseless for thinking that was a good investment)

  7. One of my favorite quotes from Mark Twain is, “I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.”
    That is totally me.

  8. It’s amazing what happens when you get out of your groove. I was looking at some of my college papers not too long ago and thinking how I used to be able to crank out a 15 pager in no time. Now, however, I think that may give me a heart attack. . .

  9. Freaking out is good. Everyone needs a little freakout once in awhile (or in my case, once or twice a day.) I’m impressed that you could do “real” journalism. If someone asked me to do that, I’m pretty sure there would be a whole lot of disappointed news people.

  10. Too funny!

  11. Annie who doesn’t freak out all the time? Where’s the fun in that?