Wednesday, January 02, 2013

A Message to readers of my work, and this blog

Quite often the writing that I send to magazines exceeds their word limits, and the result is that the finished product is often highly abbreviated, and occasionally (I feel) lopsided. A case in point - I recently interviewed 7 different families about their approaches to the pressures of winning. Due to word limits, 5 of those interviews will probably be cut. I also researched two experts in child psychology, and had to remove the one entirely, and shorten the second to a few brief bullet points This is an extreme example where a word limit of around 1500 words is surpassed by an almost unimaginable 2000 words to reach a total of about 3500.

The reason this happens is that sometimes there are a few 'Aha' moments, and one feels the insights gathered are good enough to warrant additional time and attention.

Thus in future I will post some of the uncut versions to stories that I feel are worthy of further airing. I will provide links to the uncut versions beside the original samples (which are often merely unreadable screengrabs which simply show what the layout of the article looks like). These will necessarily only be published once the particular article and issue is superseded by the next issue.

I will also be happy to provide behind the scenes footage and descriptions in terms of how I went about my research, what was it like meeting X, or Y, and any other questions the reader may ask. The point is to make this blog slightly more interactive than it has been. Obviously in this sense I rely on the reader to also communicate what they would like to know.

A final point that I would like to mention is that while this blog was initially filled with personal observations, I've noticed that it is also the first place my enemies turn for canon fodder. (An enemy tends to be defined as: someone who has decided not to pay for work commissioned, and then needs reasons to justify this non payment). And then sentiments and statements on this blog are mined and weaponised to suit a particular agenda. Although I stand by all that I do and say, I find the technique highlighted in this paragraph by some of my opponents extremely tedious. If someone is defending themselves and all they have to accuse one is your own blog (nothing out of experience, no facts of any kind), I think it says a lot. But having said that, it makes sense for me, in my profession, not to be too honest or forthright, as unfortunately, there are a number of opportunistic scoundrels out there. And I'd rather not pander to them if I can possibly help it. Thus I regret that this blog will continue to be relatively free of personal information and minimal emotional disclosures.

I'm also a little lazy to do so; why blog for free when that time is better spent writing for cash or producing something substantive, like writing novels? Personally I don't see a blog as anywhere near the substantiveness of a book.

For any feedback feel free to email me at nickvanderleek[at][gmail][dot][com]. I do my best to answer all personal correspondence.

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