As spring approaches, I know at least one thing I'll be doing this summer. I'm going back to Burning Man. I'm convinced I can get it right.
I bought a ticket and the majority of the people I camped with last year are coming back, so that is all settled. The open question is whether I go as a journalist or just go as a mission in self discovery. (Truth: It's always a little of both).
Last year, I wrote a piece for The Root magazine on diversity at Burning Man. It's a fine piece and I'm happy I did it, but the technical issues that I had to be overcome to file without leaving the desert were pretty significant.
It basically took big chunks of two days to produce: one day interviewing, writing, shooting and editing pictures and one day trying to get a WiFi signal strong enough to send words and pictures out then having to go back to the WiFi to answer editing questions.
For the most part, Burning Man is a low tech environmental. They don't provide WiFi and phone signals are spotty at best. The WiFi that is there is provided by people just like me who do it to do it. Most take advantage of the lack of connectivity. It's one week where you can tell your boss that "no you won't be checking emails" while your away. It's amazing how much freer one's mind is when our real-world work lives, bills and pressures are told to take a vacation. We - myself included - make fun of people who walk around hoping to get one bar of phone signal so they can get a text message.
But the writer in me enjoyed trying to translate experiences into words. Burning Man is filled with so much going on it a writer's dream and nightmare. Part of me wants to explore other mediums. I'd love to get behind the mic at the Burning Man radio station. I started performing one-man improv shows with a megaphone and I've toyed with video.
Of my videos my 2011 is by far the most popular before the word "chick" is in the title.
If you have Burning Man stories ideas, I'd love to have them. Even better would be ideas for outlets that will pay me for those words.