April 11 – Newspaper

newspaper.4-11-16Hi and Happy Monday.  Today’s writing prompt is Newspaper. I have loved newspapers for as long as I can remember so this is an easy topic to write about. I still like to read news from an actual paper, not online. I suppose I am still old school in that way.

I like the crinkle of the pages, getting ink on my fingers, and passing sections back and forth. I often skim a few sections and then go back and re-read the items that interest me.

When I was in high school, I wrote a teen column for the city newspaper.  It was a great learning experience for me and lots of fun. My love of writing and journalism grew then. While in college, I was the editor of our student newspaper and enjoyed that as well. My staff and I started a few columns and items of interest. Although it was a lot of work, we had a great time. Each issue was a major accomplishment to finish.

Then, after graduating, I had my first professional job at a newspaper. It was a small town paper started during the Great Depression. It was published once a week and later upped to two issues per week. A lot of people in town didn’t think we had enough news to fill two papers. That struck me as funny and charming.  And, we always managed to fill each issue and have plenty of advertising.

It was the best place for me to learn. I had an amazing beat and met fascinating people. I loved working there, learned about verifying facts, and listened to judges explaining things off the record. Both the newspaper publisher and editor took me under their wings and helped me soar. I can never thank either of them enough for guiding me on my journey.

I lived and breathed the freedom of the press for several years, made amazing contacts, wrote news articles without bias (as much as possible), conducted interviews with the new slate of county commissioners, and went to meetings regarding building a new county jail. I was so very fortunate to learn so much.

People in the community enjoyed talking to me since I was fair and accurate. That meant the world to me. I was a reporter and wrote articles about meetings, trials, and feature pieces. It was the era of clear lines between news and editorial/opinion pieces. These days are long gone but I am glad I learned when this was still the case.

The only problem was the salary was barely enough to live on. I later went on to work as a technical writer and finally in a public relations office. I was fortunate to work for almost 20 years in my field of writing. I know how rare that is and am thankful each day.

When I travel, I always buy a newspaper or two.  I love to find out the uniqueness of each community and its people.  It is a great way to learn about different parts of the country or other countries. My parents traveled recently to Paris and Monaco. They brought back papers from both places for me. Although I cannot read them, I can get the gist of what is being reporting.

A few quotes about newspapers:

  • “A newspaper is not just for reporting the news as it is, but to make people mad enough to do something about it.”– Mark Twain
  • “And so it is to the printing press–to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news–that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.”– John F. Kennedy
  • “If you don’t hit a newspaper reader between the eyes with your first sentence, there is no need of writing a second one. ”  — Arthur Brisbane

I wonder if I will write again for a newspaper? I would truly enjoying doing so and will have to look into just that.

A few notes: I will try to write more regularly in the coming months. The last few have been extremely busy for me. Hopefully things will soon calm down.  Also, the image is clip art from Power Point. Take care and God Bless!

Be Writing!

writingHi and Happy Monday!  Hope you had a great weekend!  It sure went fast and now we are back to the start of another week.  Time flies when you are having fun.

The Five Minute Friday challenge on April 4 was “Writer.”  I think that is so funny since I couldn’t write about it that day since I was at a writing seminar.  The theme for this year’s seminar was, “Don’t Be A Writer, Be Writing.”  Isn’t that great?  The important thing is to write as often as you can, hopefully each day.

One of the speakers talked about writer’s block.  His take was great and quite funny and inspiring as well.  He said that surgeons and people in other jobs don’t say they don’t feel inspired for surgery so they aren’t going to do them.  The same is for writers, you have to do the work.  He said that you have to sit your ass in the seat and write.

A bit crass but right on the money.  This was a great thing for me to hear.  Some days I feel like writing and the words just come to me, other days, it is a struggle.  Even in the times of struggle, continuing to work on my craft is very important.

Every speaker I heard was inspiring and knew their topics very well.  I had the pleasure of learning more about poetry, non-fiction writing, fiction writing, editing, writing for young people, writing a 10 minute play, and blogging.  Each person brought a unique perspective and gave me new ideas and a zest to want to keep at this writing.

For years, writing was my vocation and that was an amazing blessing.  Now it is a hobby/passion and may also become a vocation again at some point. In the meantime, I plan to keep at it.

POD_July.31_Workspace.1Here is one of the locations where I write.  The photo at the top of the blog is from Power Point clip art.

I also have a notebook /journal to take with me where I take notes.  I write down things I see, lists of projects, conversations I hear, sermon notes, quotes, and other things that inspire me.  This was something that one of the speakers mentioned as being an important tool for a writer.

The seminar was a place I also saw some friends and made some new ones.  Writers are a fun and unique group of people.  I was honored to be in their company. I will be keeping in touch with many of them and hope to be more involved in the group who planned and organized the seminar.

I wonder what else will inspire me today?  I will be on the lookout!  Hope you will be as well!