I've been in features now for 17 months, but every now and then I'll get tapped to do something over in news. Most of the time it's pretty simple. When I break stuff it's usually because the subject is so obscure that nobody else cares enough to cover it.
Today I actually blundered into news. I'd been assigned a vague news-side piece on South Carolina's latest attempt to ban same-sex marriage (we already have a ban... so this is like our DOUBLE-SECRET PROBATION constitutional amendment ban) and suddenly I figured out that the proponents may have bungled the language in their rush to shove the referendum through the legislature. The question itself may be illegal.
I finally stopped around 11:30, and largely because it's just too rude to call people that late at night.
The lesson: Doing this stuff is an addiction. It's not healthy. It isn't fun. It's actually bad for your career, and what's more, READERS COMPLAIN ABOUT IT.
They'd rather read my happy little features, and I'd rather write them. But once you've got it in your blood, you're screwed. And I'm not saying this in a romantic, "oh-how-I-love-the-thrill-of-it-all!" way. I've watched this addiction torment some very good people who desperately need to move on in their careers.
I accept that I have it. I accept that it's going to be part of my makeup. I do NOT accept that I can't move beyond it to other, better things.