At the ripe age of 26 I’ve decided to change my ways.
That’s right, I’m looking ahead at a different me. Well, at least the way I write.
A few nights ago I picked up a book that I have found to be a personal favorite, Rick Bragg’s Somebody Told Me. Bragg is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and an inspirational writer.
In school, we learned about his writing technique. The former St. Petersburg Times and New York Times journalist would sit with those he was interviewing and just listen. Rarely writing anything down, just soaking it all in.
My professors told me the only time his pen would move was when he was getting THAT quote. The one quote that embodied everything the person was trying to say, that spoke of their character and of their background.
When I first started working at the Daily News my editor told me to look at those writings that I really enjoy and look at what aspects I like most about them.
It’s easy for reporters to have a formula when writing: Lede, nutgraf, quote, transition, quote, fact, transition, end quote. Your story is done.
But with Bragg’s work, and now with mine, it’s a journey. The reader is transported into the world your reporting on. They can taste it, smell it and truly get to know your subjects.
So, henceforth and from here on out throughout my journalistic career, I will be the writer I’ve always wanted to be. I, hopefully, will be a writer that can inspire the next generation of reporters.
Wanna see my first attempt? Read here!