Ten tips for a young journalist

A friend’s daughter got a new job at a university newspaper (clever thing). I sent some tips, mostly drawn from things others told me, or established industry lore, or stuff I copied off the web. All additions and comments welcome; no cynical “don’t do it” kind of stufff though please. Encourage.

My ten:

1.       Write to be read. There is no point writing for yourself. Write for one, ten, a thousand, but write for someone else.
2.       Read to write. Others have done this before and knowing that does not prejudice originality. Nor does borrowing.
3.       Get out some. There is nothing to be found at home. Go listen to music (or whatever) and soak it all up. [She is writing about music]
4.       Suspend disbelief. Listen to things you don’t like, and sometime imagine you might be wrong.
5.       Kill your little darlings. Most of the time, the bits you come to love most in what you write need to be removed; they are getting in the way of what you want to say.
6.       On time, on sale. Hit the deadline, every time. It is a state of mind.
7.       Don’t make it up. Ever.
8.       Don’t write down; write up.
9.       Never resign.
10.   Don’t bury the lead.


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