Tim Walker’s Dutiful

Over the last week or two, fair to say I’ve developed a newfound respect and/or admiration for editors/writers of daily newspapers.

To take a nation’s recent happenings then mentally compose, physically write, edit, and publish that content in the same day, before that always encroaching deadline, is demanding.

Any regular reader/s of this site will have noticed that my usual one or two weekly posts suddenly became five, sometimes crudely written, often riddled with errors, invariably brief, articles.

Honestly, I’ve been finding it tough to keep up with a daily schedule of composing entertaining and/or topical stories; although in fairness I feel as though it might have been my process that was letting me down.

I rise early, throw on a shirt and shorts and make my way out to the kitchen, stopping by the library to click on the computer. At the kitchen I will have turned to full power one element on the stove, the other hand flicking on the kettle – which I know always has adequate water precisely for this reason – then I put a splash of water in a pot and throw it on the hot element. While these come to heat I’m busy fetching various teabags and rolled oats from the pantry. Once these are laid out, to my horror – as happens every morning – I see both the pot and the kettle have started boiling simultaneously so click off the jug then fumble the scoop of rolled oats into the pot, turn off switch, mix and replace lid. I throw the first teabag into my mug and pour in the, not quite boiling, water. By this point the morning defecation is usually signalling so I hurry back to the computer, double click the Internet icon then dash into the bathroom. By the time the ablutions are taken care of I can be certain breakfast is ready; nevertheless I duck back into the library, sit at the computer and bring up the necessary pages. I then open a Microsoft Word page, dredge my insipid mind for inspiration – thinking of what I saw on the News last night or if not that something else worthwhile – and head up a page. Next, I write until I can write no more. I then go back to the kitchen and make my breakfast, confident that I’m under way. I start the jug boiling again – it having been topped up with water immediately after the last lot was decanted – drain the contents of the first mug then sprawl on the kitchen floor, hold my breath and perform thirty press-ups. On completion of my ‘wake-up call’, breathing heavily, I throw in the second teabag and start steeping my next brew. Cradling the bowl of porridge I head back to the computer and continue work. The time at this point is usually somewhere between 7 and 8 a.m.…

You see where this is going. I finish the article, proof, edit, and post before 9. That much is simple enough. In fact, after seeing my morning routine laid out before me, I have no issues with the process. The process is sound. I think it’s the question of content which probably relates to the smallness of the nation in which I reside, which (see how many times I can use ‘which’ in the same sentence) really, renders my past mockery of New Zealand newscasters unsuitable, unjust and unfair. I now understand how difficult it must be to find ‘Newsworthy’ content each and every day.

I understand furthermore how it might be tempting to milk our Prime Minister’s apparent pony-tail-pulling fetish for all it’s worth…

Nice work, guys.



Article by Tim Walker

Edited by Noah I Deer

Photography by Kodak

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