Full disclosure: I interned at CNN in New York when I was 18 years old. I worked on a program called “Showbiz Today.” I did it to meet celebrities, not for journalism experience. Goal achieved, and now I can say I met a bunch of famous people.
That was my first official stint in journalism, but not the last. Whenever I had to flee theater, I always ended up in journalism. Now that I’m older, I can see the pattern. I love news programs, C-SPAN, government reports, research libraries, documentaries, so I guess it’s not a big mystery. If I had to do it over again, I probably would drift more into hard news. But with my background, I inevitably ended up in features and arts.
Sounds disappointing, right? I don’t mean it that way. But it might explain why my real writing, when I choose to put it out there, has a bit of a harder edge to it. Part of being a good writer is knowing where to find the story. Journalism has definitely been an influence in my creative work.
A few years ago, I worked on an arts and politics website. I left because I thought I was advocating for everyone else’s work at the cost of my own. I could feel a visceral, deep sadness and frustration in my body. It was time to put my own work first.
I do miss journalism and hope to go back to it soon.
Here are some selections of my work.
Alabama’s Armand DeKeyser: A former U.S. Senate chief of staff makes the humanities accessible. (Humanities: National Endowment for the Humanities)
Art, Energy, Cultural Change: A Discussion with Barry Lord (The Clyde Fitch Report)
Introducing The Marbury Project: Covering Women in the Arts (The Clyde Fitch Report)
Maisel and Raeburn’s ‘Creative Recovery’ shows how creativity can aid addicts (The Birmingham News/AL.com)