The time we heard writing-changing talks

Katherine Reed, our reporting professor and the public safety and health editor at the Missourian, posted two excellent resources on her blog this week. Here are the biggest things I learned from each:

1. Steve Padilla’s “Writing Diagnostics”

  • Read your writing out loud. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this, but I still almost always forget. I should make a habit of NEVER hitting “send to queue” before I’ve done this.
  • Borrow narrative methods from other media. I love creative writing, and especially screenwriting and songwriting. I’m not particularly good at either yet, but it’s exciting to think that I can take things I’ve learned or observed in songs and films and apply them to news stories.
  • WRITE SO THE WORDS FIT THE MEANING, NOT VICE VERSA. Don’t be enslaved to a pretty phrase. If it doesn’t mean what you’re trying to convey, chop it.
  • Try ending with your voice, not a quote. Just try it.
  • Start in the middle.

2. Julian Treasure’s TED talk on listening

  • Practice listening by spending 3 minutes quiet daily.
  • RASA: Receive, Appreciate, Summarize, Ask — I’m convinced that if I can remember these steps, I’ll become a better interviewer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s