Monday, April 18, 2005

I've got those pre-fight jitters

When I fought in karate tournaments (more than half a lifetime ago), I could determine how well I'd do by how edgy I got before the fights. If I was very edgy, I would take home at least one trophy (I was real wired at the U.S. Karate Championships and took 2nd in fighting for my division). If I got too comfy, the odds of taking home some brass declined. So, I think it's good I'm a bit edgy today.

The new gig at The Beaumont Enterprise officially starts at 9 a.m. today. I'm sure today will consist of paperwork and drinking mass amounts of water for... a sample.

I'll be doing ridealongs the first day or two to learn the workflow and then fly on my own.

Honestly, I'm a little nervous. I really want to kick some major butt, but I'm concerned about how it will go. My concern is not with my own expectations. My concern is with what others expect from me. Since I'm moving from a large paper to a mid-sized paper, I'm concerned people expect Pulitzer Prize images the first week. I know it won't happen. That takes at least two weeks. ;-}

All anyone can do is their best. I'll do my best and keep trying to improve from there. Hopefully I'll figure out the niche this week. It falls between my first and second papers. So, I'm guessing it has qualities of both.

In the meantime, I'm covering my rump and have gathered a lot of information about area events on my new blog. At a small paper, it's important for PJs to know what's happening when and where to fill holes in the paper. At large papers, editors schedule more than enough assignments from a day to a month in advance. Consequently, there really isn't any spare space and PJs' images fight for every hole.

Additionally, when there are more than 30 PJs scattered across the area at large papers, only the assignment editor has a grip on where everyone is. Consequently, one PJ might try to cover an event as a feature and find another PJ covering it as an assignment. It's really a drag when that happens because all the time and images basically vaporize on the spot. The assigned PJ has the right-of-way.

Since there are only four of us covering all of Southeast Texas, it shouldn't take much coordination to avoid stepping on each other. It leaves me a lot of room to collect features and work some stories. Then, it's a matter of space again.

Tonight, I feel like a racehorse in the chute. Just open the darn gate and watch me run.

Enough for now,


CarmenSisson said...

I always take that feeling as a good sign, too. It means you care, and if you care, then you can't do anything less than your best. Tomorrow will come soon enough....just try to rest. Even racehorses need to sleep some time ;-) Best of luck tomorrow. You'll be okay.

Marie said...

Good luck Mark. I'm confident that you will make your own mark at the BE!

Bryon Houlgrave said...

Kick some *** today!

Emma said...

Be sure to drink bottled water. Beaumont tap water is horrible!

hildy said...

I only just realized you've left N.TX and headed down to Blow-mont.
jason worked for the weekly down there for a few years. i'm sure you'll have fun.

good luck!

Mark M. Hancock said...

Thanks for all your support. I should start posting new images around Friday. :-)