When a Meeting is Cancelled

Meetings are cancelled all the time.

I usually forget to call ahead for the meetings that are cancelled. I have that luck.

I try not to panic, but it’s hard not to. I get the bulk of my stories from meetings, but not all of them. I don’t know the ratio and I’m not about to guess.

Recently, one of my bigger towns saw its biggest board cancel a meeting due to a quorum issue. That tends to happen from time-to-time. I wasn’t expecting it, at all, but I was able to find out with plenty of time to prepare myself for the rest of the week.

I essentially emptied my notebook and made a ton of calls. The stories I wrote for the rest of the week weren’t anything to call home about, but they helped fill the paper. I took some bad luck and turned it around and gave myself a healthy story queue even with one less meeting.

I’ve said this a million times, but I really like to go to as many meetings as I can. I value that time and, I feel, it’s important to show my face and build those relationships with my sources.

So, when a meetings cancelled, it can throw me out of whack for a bit.

The key is to not panic. There are stories that every reporter puts to the side as they continue to write other stories. I don’t have a good name for that group of stories (I have one myself), but it pays to keep them because they aren’t anything groundbreaking and can certainly wait to run when you have nothing to write.

To stay on top of your game, and not miss a step, you’ll have to empty your notebook. It’s not the end of the world and it’ll teach you how to keep on top of story ideas and be creative.

Plus, a little added pressure never hurt anyone.

Jonathan

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