Wednesday, January 8, 2014

When Your Disadvantage is Your Advantage


So I'd been avoiding Longform.com for at least a year, and was considering succumbing to checking it out when, recently, I ran across several news items about Internet trends that included the increase in long form journalism. And then someone whose opinion I greatly respect basically gave me the final push - on Facebook, of course. So last night, I listened to my first episode, an interview with Joe Sexton, senior editor at ProPublica and a former reporter and editor at the New York Times. I was riveted and immediately hooked.


I don't know if I'm on some kind of faddish tear or if Longform will become part of my regular life. I mean I've only listened to one of the hour-long podcast interviews with incredibly thoughtful and talented magazine writers about their process and experience. But I did peruse at least 30 descriptions of episodes, so I know the great storytelling and insight that awaits me if I decide to go down this rabbit hole.

Honestly I have the same feeling I do when I watch an episode of a promising TV series: If I was in a different place in my life, I'd make sure I was in the same place at the same time each week to catch it. Or I'd record it and make time to watch it. I've watched one episode each of Downton Abby, Homeland, Newsroom, Scandal and others just for this reason. I feel like I just can't get caught up because of other things I'm prioritizing in my life.

It's so late that I can't even access the words to describe how stimulated and satisfied I feel listening to Longform.com - and considering how the lessons I'm hearing apply to my creative approach.


Now I'm listening to the Longform interview with author and New Yorker staff writer Malcolm Gladwell, and I feel like a disrespecting distracted spouse even writing this blog post while it's playing. The real reason for this post is because I wanted to figure out a way to capture the Longform episodes I really dig and those that can be extremely helpful. I considered posting them to Facebook, Twitter, my Tumblr account and even on Linked In. But I realized that the most enduring and personal social media space I'm most committed to maintaining is this blog.

I created Enjoyceinglife to assist, or even better, to challenge myself creatively. And I rarely use it for that purpose. But as Gladwell says, I'm reconsidering my disadvantage to be an advantage.

You know how it is in the beginning of the year. I'm going to do this. I'm going to do that. Well I am. And Longform.com is part of my brave doing. For me.

Be good to yourselves folks. And keep Enjoyceinglife.

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