Week 1: Listen to the Radio
After the previous week's non happening, I was able to jump on the horse and get get moving on the sabbatical. For the next seven or so weeks, I'll be focusing on honing my writing for radio.
Why radio? I see radio as being a great model for tight, concise writing. I've done radio work in the past – at journalism school, and as a freelance feature reporter early in my career. And, to be honest, I've missing writing for the ears.
It's been a while. It shows. That doesn't mean I'm backing down or giving up. I really believe that learning and relearning this particular type of writing will help me develop a more relaxed, conversational approach to my writing. An approach that I think has been missing from my work for a while.
For the next couple of weeks, I'll be focusing on writing radio news reports. In addition to the materials I've been going over, I've been doing something I haven't done for a while: listening to radio news – mainly Radio New Zealand, Radio Live, and BBC News. Why listen? To capture the tone and pacing, to try to pick up the cadence of the spoken word.
After that, my focus will be on writing longer, more expository radio-style pieces. I don't expect to reach the level of the late Stuart McLean or Studs Terkel.
As I mentioned a couple of paragraphs back, it's been a long time. The techniques and the practices, though, are slowly starting to come back.