I can pretty much guarantee I’ve missed slot more times than you have. If you’re still employed, then believe me, I’ve missed slot more than you have. Some were due to software malfunctions, some from reporter delays, and some had legitimate excuses. But many times it was just because I cared too damn much.
So my tip for the day is: Care too much. At least sometimes. Go overboard. Nit-pick every edit. Watch your story critically 10X before it airs. Watch a sequence within your story 10X before you edit the next one. Rework it, then rework it, then rework it some more. Stop texting and focus on your story. The chick on Match.com is ugly and Pinterest can wait. World of Warcraft can’t, but Pinterest can. Stay up all night long editing a single piece. Work on your day off. Do something that challenges your work-culture. Shoot a story for fun and get utterly consumed in it. Work for free and decide not to give a shit. Not for your employer; FOR YOURSELF, as well as the people in your story. Spend weeks, a month, a year, shooting a single narrative. Oh, the station doesn’t wanna air cause it doesn’t fit a time slot? Then post it on the web! Aspire to your rendition of perfection. Do something so well, and work so hard, that your spark inspires others to want to excel.
If you’re here and you’re reading this, then you obviously care about the craft. But that doesn’t mean you can’t push it further. Don’t put your job in jeopardy and don’t ruin your reputation. But find a story every once in a while that you care intensely about, and give it more devotion than you ever have before. If you miss slot because you worked your ass off and gave it all you had, then you’ll know you’re on the right track.