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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Writing your best

     This is a story I was told way back in Jr. High school in journalism class:

A young writer finishes off college and gets a degree in journalism.  He gets his dream job at a large newspaper and goes to work.  On his first day, he is given an assignment and writes out his article, excited that he'll finally see a story of his in the newspaper.  He submits it, and the next day reads the newspaper from front to back, but his article is nowhere to be found.  He can't believe it!

The next day, after being given his next assignment, he writes it out, but instead of submitting it, he takes it personally into the editor's office and sets it down in front of the editor.  "I'm finished with the story." he says proudly.  The editor doesn't even look up from his desk and says "Is this the best you can do?"  The reporter thinks for a minute and then says "No, I can do better."  He takes he story back to his desk to rework it.

After rewriting the story again, he takes it back to the editor.  The editor asks again "Is this the best you can do?"  The reporter is shocked.  He thinks about it and again says "No, I'm sure I can do better."  He leaves to rewrite the story.  This time, he finds pictures, he uses spell check, he talks to witnesses, he goes all out on the story.  He does an incredible amount of work and then marches back into the editor's office.  As he tosses the story on the editor's desk, the editor asks his question:  "Is this the best you can do?"

The frustrated reporter glares at the editor.  "Yes, this is the best I can do!" he shouts.  The editor now looks at the story placed on his desk and answers "Ok, then I'll read this one."

The moral here is that you need to always put your best stuff out there.  

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