B A H j o u r n a l i s t

Brian Anthony Hernandez

Guest blog | Journalists, rekindle your romance with writing

My friend Laura Chapman, who is a communication specialist in Texas, operates a blog about writing.

Guest blogger Laura Chapman

In this guest blog, she discusses mending her broken relationship with words and challenges journalists everywhere to rediscover the joys of writing – even at work. The next two paragraphs are excerpts from her guest blog.

“All too often I find myself writing to a formula or template. … It’s worked for me these past two years. Somewhere along the way, I fell out of love with writing. While I do not necessarily look forward to the articles I have to write for work, I have tried to be a little more creative, even if I can not push it too far. I have also put more time into writing for myself, both in my journal and in my personal special projects.

“As journalists, so often we focus on getting the facts and less on how we will present them. While the first part is certainly important, I challenge you to try something new with your writing, and rekindle the romance.”

Journalists, I challenge you to rekindle your romance with writing
By Laura Chapman

As a communications specialist, I write articles predominantly for publication in industrial employee newsletters. While bouncing amongst nine to 12 clients — all with individual requests and requirements — it’s sometimes easier to ignore imaginative writing and just stick to something simple.

All too often I find myself writing to a formula or template.  “(Name) joined the (industry) as a (job title) in (year).” Or, “(Employer) congratulates (employee), who recently (accomplishment.)”

It gets the job done without complaint or controversy, and I can move on to my next project. It’s worked for me these past two years. Somewhere along the way, I fell out of love with writing.

Knowing this would hardly help the job I have now, let alone get me to finish writing a novel, I decided my relationship with words needed help.

According to the website “How to Fix A Relationship,” (www.howtofixrelationship.com) the love-hate relationship I have with words is not uncommon. If it goes unresolved, however, it won’t last. The website offers these five tips:

1)  “Stop criticizing each other.” Fair enough, I’ll stop calling words boring if they stop taunting me.

2)  “Accept that you both have faults and issues that can be dealt with accordingly.” OK, words are sometimes redundant, and I’m often lazy. We can still make this work.

3)  “Forgive each other for things that are irrelevant.” I forgive words for being somewhat old-fashioned, and I hope they’ll forgive me for abusing them in the past.

4)  “Think more positive about (each other).” Got it. Words are great, they have so much potential. And I’m not too shabby either.

5) “Share more of life’s experiences and pleasures together.”

To tackle No. 5, I decided it was time for words and I to try something different. Instead of using words to tell someone else’s story or to make one up, I decided we could work together to tell my story. I decided to write my memoir.

I have always believed every person has a story. At least that is what I tell my sources when I interview them. While my life might not have one apparent, best-selling story, I know I most have something to share.

What began as a challenge to myself last week to rekindle my passion for writing has already become more. Every day, I take time to think about myself and my life. I consider moments and experiences, then think about how I can turn each into articulate and entertaining words for others to enjoy. I ask myself the questions I ask a typical interviewee. I follow up, I dig a little deeper. I do not always turn up something compelling, but I get good background for other stories.

Already, in the days since I began this project, I’ve begun to put my life in words. Even though I know our relationship still has some room to grow, I can see improvements.

While I do not necessarily look forward to the articles I have to write for work, I have tried to be a little more creative, even if I can not push it too far. I have also put more time into writing for myself, both in my journal and in my personal special projects.

As journalists, so often we focus on getting the facts and less on how we will present them. While the first part is certainly important, I challenge you to try something new with your writing, and rekindle the romance.

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August 18, 2010 - Posted by | Guest blog, Journalism, Personal

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