Catherine’s 4 Hour Failure

For this assignment, I wanted to cover a hackathon at the White House that I participated in last Friday. It was an all-day event but Ethan and Matt said it would be ok to bend the rules a little bit since I wasn’t actually writing during the event.

But I had several problems actually completing the assignment in four hours:

  1. I got extremely emotionally invested in the post. I wanted it to do a lot of things – report on the day, congratulate the White House for having a Hackathon, explore further ways they could expand the platform, showcase all the different projects from the participants, and make a case for why death stars are important to petitions.
  2. Although I like writing, it is something that requires deep focus and is more difficult for me than creating things with images, media and code.
  3. I like to get feedback and ideas from advisors and friends before making anything public.
  4. The way my life is structured I rarely have four hours of uninterrupted time.
  5. I always want to add images and media to my blog posts which subsequently take me forever to format.

So, here is my resulting post on the Civic Media blog. I’m happy with it but I estimate it took about 10-12 hours of my time if you include thinking, writing, talking and formatting (not including the event itself which was nine hours). And that time was definitely not consecutive – mostly I did it in blocks of 30 minutes to one hour.

My takeaway: I’m not cut out for journalism if the deadlines are like this :).