I've been asked on more than one occasion why I pursued the writing and reporting side of publishing, in lieu of the more profitable positions available in display advertising. Aside from the fact that I would have trouble selling climate control systems in Phoenix, the explanation I most frequently offer is "impatience."

In my job, the rewards are rather quickly realized in the form of a completed story or column. By contrast, I once watched as a sales colleague of mine spent nearly a year compiling a media program for a difficult vendor, only to have the client decline at the 11th hour. I can say in all honesty that my reaction to a year-long effort that ultimately turned out to have been an exercise in futility would have been quite different from his simple shrug of the shoulders and a pledge to "get 'em next time." Mine probably would have leaned more toward felonious assault. But I digress.

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