Learning by Mistaking [Frankie Says...] Apr05

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Learning by Mistaking [Frankie Says...]

Frankie Says…

Triple check everything before you send it to the editor.

By day I’m a writer. By night… I’m a producer. Actually that’s not entirely true. Yes, I’m a writer and yes, I’m a producer, but that first sentence just sounded cool so I wanted to write it that way. Day and night, I’m pretty much doing both all the time.

I didn’t go to school for either profession, but serendipitously I have found myself quite happy in my career choices, although it took a while to get here. But having not gone to school there are situations I have come across, and continue to come across still, where I am just completely ill-equipped to be handling these said situations.

Take for instance, my recent article publishing on a high profile website. The editor said she loved the story – great news. It was on the front page of the site – great news. Twenty minutes after the story goes up I get an email from a producer on the film I was writing about saying I spelled the title wrong – shit news.

I scramble and email my editor, apologizing profusely. She changes it accordingly, but says that she is ‘dismayed’ at how a journalist could get something like that incorrect.

Dismayed. Ouch. That had the same sting as when, at age 12, you are told by a parent that they aren’t mad at you, just disappointed. It’s a searing sentence that sits in your stomach. You know you’re not just bad, but stupid too. In my opinion stupid is worse than being bad. At least bad has a motivation behind it, usually. Stupid is just, well, stupid. No forethought goes into stupid.

So here I was, with my pants down, begging my editor’s forgiveness, throwing myself under the bus by admitting it was an amateur’s mistake. I also was covering a bit by letting her know that had the producer gotten back to me two days ago when I emailed him, all of this would have been cleared up.

Moral of the story: FACT CHECK.

Next time, I’ll tell you about the half-dozen mistakes I made in no less than 24 hours on the web series I’m producing. Live and learn, right?

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featured image credit: Nick J Webb