One of the hardest things about being a freelance writer is seeing a great story— the kind of story you’ve always dreamed about writing—slip through your fingers. Your editors fail to see the beauty or the tragedy. No one shares your obsession; no one wants to put you on a plane to Miami or Lima or Mobasa, say, and pay for expenses while you throw yourself into the reporting. The pitch falls flat, eyes look away in embarrassment, and a half beat later, a kindly question. What else have you got?
Thirty years of freelancing and I can pretty much remember each and every one of these failures, these lost stories. They continue to dog me, and I sometimes think that this will be the last thing on my mind when I die. It won’t be my life flashing in front of me; it will be stories, particularly these stories, the ones that never saw light of day.
To read more, please visit Last Word on Nothing.
Photo of Madre di Dios courtesy Marcin Nowak