Mark Binker, multimedia investigative reporter at WRAL-TV and one of the best reporters in the state, posted this classic on Facebook. I’ve posted it with permission because it is a classic and should be available beyond the FB walls.
The five stages of grief as applied to long-form journalism projects:
Denial – “Oh, this will be easy to knock out. I bet I won’t even have to do do many rewrites.”
Anger – “Why are there so many factual holes in my first draft. Dang it, I don’t want to re-interview / re-crunch the numbers. And these sources are so @#$@%#$ obstinate.”
Bargaining – “Okay, just a little more time spent on side p…rojects and a quick check of Facebook and I’ll go back to drafting and research. Maybe if I find something else really good my editor will forget all about the time I’ve invested and let me do something else!”
Depression – “This is the worse thing anyone has ever written in the vast history of humanity. My keyboard should be smashed, my desk lit on fire and I should be sent to wander the wastelands doomed to never write again.”
Acceptance – “Eh, deadline is here. This will work. Time to copy edit. Besides, we’re getting hate mail either way. Beer time.”