Monday, April 11, 2011

a question of weight

I want to change the way I think.

I can have a week of kickassery -- filing two or three stories a day, getting news tips from representatives who know me and respect me enough to seek me out directly, and most notably, an in-depth weekender that got play on front pages across the state -- and still be knocked down by a few moments of self-doubt.

Why does the negative weigh so much more than the positive? I felt like an awesome possum today -- many thanks to the people who encourage me in my success; I store those comments up and reread them to remind myself that I'm doing a good job.

But then as soon as I got enough downtime to slow down, and didn't have House floor session crap filling every corner of my brain, I floated back down to this funk of not feeling like I'm quite good enough. Again, I think it has to do with a few specific people not caring or not recognizing something that I feel should get more attention.

At least that's a change from my recent mindset; it's no longer, Why am I not doing a good job, but rather, Why can't you recognize that I'm doing a good job? I'm 21 and my first job is working as the No. 2 reporter at a statehouse bureau, and I've filed about 90 items in the past three months -- that's worthy of note.* And for me, admitting that I'm good is a step stronger than where I was a few weeks ago.

But still. I want the good moments to outweigh the bad. I want the giddy feeling I got when people wrote me today to tell me that my story was on the front page of my hometown newspaper to carry me over for the next week. That's how it should work; that's how it would work if I could simply reverse the way things currently are. The way my mind works now, a negative moment can cast a shadow over several days, but positives are fleeting and easily brushed off.

I want a job with the AP. I want one so, so badly that I'm not even thinking about the fact that I'll be unemployed in two weeks. I love the pace of the wire service; I love that I can write as much as I want and not worry about page space, because it'll all get picked up online somewhere; I love that I'm known (at least to the Democrats) exclusively as "APMolly." I love writing fast, pounding out stories, and I love being counted on by the other publications here. "Are you doing something on such-and-such? Great, ok, that means we don't have to."

I don't want to work at a daily newspaper now. I want to work for the AP -- one story a day is too slow for me. Yes, I probably wouldn't be able to sustain this pace for long, and yes, it's been exhausting and effing difficult, but at least for the next few years, while I'm young and enthusiastic and ambitious, I want to keep up this pace. I don't want to lose momentum now; I just found my stride!

Damn it, US jobs market, please just let a miracle happen and open up a job at the Seattle bureau.

Love always,

*I'm not trying to be cocky...honestly just trying to convince myself that I'm good at what I do, and that it's ok to acknowledge that in myself. It's a work in progress; forcing myself to say it and write it is helping me to believe it.