Budding Writer, 1979: Mission accomplished

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Afternoon afterglow, North Hero, Vermont, January 15, 2023. By Howard Fielding. Offered under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

After what seemed like months doing little or nothing in the winter doldrums of New Hampshire, my journal from my first year as a freelance writer shows that I’d accomplished all I set out to do:

In six weeks here I have completed all the specific projects I set out on: Trustee letters, AlumMag letter, TV Guide article, “Cole’s Law,” Church Herald article, job hunting, and study. Well, maybe I haven’t tried WNNE yet. But all told, I’m very pleased with my accomplishments to date. Now a break and some more ideas …

Howard W. Fielding
Journal, Volume II
26 February 1979

Yes, I finally got the Church Herald article in the mail, and that afternoon the college announced the decision on the fraternity issue: “The Trustees announced a 7-point program (similar to my suggestions!) toward solving campus ills and decided to keep an eye on the houses, with the option of reconsidering their unanimous vote in a year or so.”

That night I put on a celebratory quarter-keg at the fraternity. Read into that what you will.

Not everything was a success, though. The letter to the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine and the TV Guide article were still pending. Job hunting was still in the works but beginning to show promising leads.

Doing arts commentary for the local television station, WNNE, was really a non-starter. Even then I knew that I get nervous in front of a microphone and tend to babble in front of a camera.

What I didn’t realize at the time is that reviews and such would not be done live. They’d be pre-recorded in a studio, making use of different takes. Today I’d be able to do that with podcasts or video podcasts, even if I did the recording myself so I wouldn’t have to try the patience of a recording engineer.