Thursday, December 08, 2005

On Writing

I admit it. I hate to write. I think of all manner of clever and witty sayings when I'm in my car or in a store, but put me in front of a keyboard and let that cursor blink at me and my brain freezes. (April, I know you know all about it too. Writing leads for newspaper stories is a bitch.)

Now I always found it reasonably easy to write a newspaper story, in general. Most of the information is already there on your reporter's notebook or legal pad, just missing a few creative touches. But when you're writing from scratch, suddenly the art of the word becomes a lot more taxing. Human word processors like Stephen King or Sue Grafton amaze me. How do they write so much in a short amount of time? It's as if their brains are wired differently.

I find it easier to bring reports to you from my travels because I'm writing from my notes. It's like being back in the newsroom. But when I'm sitting here in my chair typing on the laptop, I'm writing from scratch and it becomes much more difficult. So that's one reason I don't write as much from home.

I'm such a procrastinator that I was late with one of my columns recently. It also involved a girl, an illegal substance and a dead car battery, but mostly it was me being lazy and not writing my column several days in advance, as I should do. The column has recently taken on new life, as two of the NY Times regional newspaper group's Louisiana papers picked it up. It now runs in four papers weekly. I suppose I could post my columns on here, but it'd essentially be preaching to the choir. Most involve basic strategy, concepts I'm sure most of the readers here (all four of you) mastered a long, long time ago. Eh, maybe I'll do it anyway, you know, for shits and giggles.

1 comment:

Carla said...

How did you end up in journalism?