Long on Words, Short on Time? Summon Your Inner Editor

Renowned feminist and social activist bell hooks once wrote:

 No black woman writer in this culture can write “too much.” Indeed, no woman writer can write ‘too much’…No woman has ever written enough.” – remembered rapture, the writer at work, bell hooks*

Have you, like hooks, found yourself in this same situation? Except you,  a content producer, don’t have a platform as a world-renowned feminist; you were writing an article.  Now you have 1000 words on a screen and no end in sight.  You’re up against a deadline; your back against the wall, the firing squad ready to take aim.

You’re out of time.

Still wrestling with a germ of a story idea.

Since, the goal of every articulate content producer is to transform an initial thought into a coherent essay, the next time a story idea pops up, stop. It’s not ready for harvest.  Instead of putting pen to paper or opening a new document to key in characters, pitch the story  idea to yourself.

If you follow these simple steps to pitching a story idea to your inner editor, it will prevent you from finding yourself tangled up in words, without a finished story, report, column and/or essay.

  • Consider the audience.

Who are the subjects?  Who do you want to reach through this the publication? What do they need? What do they want?

  • What is the main is the subject and topics of the publication.

Blog |  i.e., Actuate – Subject: Personal intelligence .  Features topics that include but not limited to focusing on converting ideas/ thoughts into action

  •  Decide on the topic’s main idea –

How to move quickly from story idea to completed article with a pitch

  •  and craft it into a 140 character tweet.

“You had a great story idea but now you’re spending all day trying to write an article? Save time by pitching the idea to your inner editor. “

  • Then build it out.

“You came up with a great story idea but 8 hours later you’re still trying to write the article. Next step: it goes into the abyss also known as the draft folder.   Save time by pitching your ideas to your inner editor first. ”   A good pitch to your inner editor puts distance between you, your great idea and content development.

  • Determine why this is good story idea.  Sell the content’s benefits, i.e., the steak’s sizzle.

Is it sexy and STEAMY (Shareworthy, Timely, Earns, Accolades, Memorable, Youthful)?

Why does the topic arouse and pique your interest?

Is the topic provocative? Is it titillating? Can you make it STEAMIER by illustrating to the reader how it Saves Time, Earns Advance Money, Identifying and Engaging Resources?

  • Make even the most staid topic provocative, titillating, timely and SEO friendly by using a News Hook. Hint: Check out a social network trending topics such as Twitter or Google.

Today,  after 21 years, Fox News dropped its “Fair and Balanced” tagline – now pitching news stories to the executive producer should be a breeze. But for the rest of us who want to remain unbiased but provocative; even the blogger with 1 follower can pitch a story idea to our inner editor to get the best story in print

  • Convey the voice and tone in a 30-second radio spot (75 words) for your story idea.

Tired of wrestling with a story that started as a good idea but now it never ends? Next time a story idea pops up; write a pitch that’ll satisfy your inner-editor.  With a draft folder filled with pitches instead of unfinished manifestos; you, the content producer, will shorten your writing time, meet deadlines and have access to story ideas that are ready for development. Pitch ideas to your inner-editor; she’ll help you to produce your best work.

  • In about 150 more words, plus those above, convince your inner editor how you’re going to provide the solution to your readers.  Conclude with why you’re qualified to write the article.

 Renowned feminist  bell hooks once wrote,

“No black woman writer in this culture can write “too much.” Indeed, no woman writer can write ‘too much’…No woman has ever written enough.” – remembered rapture, the writer at work, bell hooks” *

Have you, like hooks, found yourself in this same situation? Except you,  a content producer, don’t have a platform as a world-renowned feminist; you were writing an article.   Now you have 1000 words on a screen and no end in sight.  You’re up against a deadline; your back against the wall, the firing squad ready to take aim.

You’re out of time.

Are you tired of wrestling with a story that started as a good idea but now it never ends? Next time a story idea pops up; write a pitch that’ll satisfy your inner-editor.  With a draft folder filled with pitches instead of unfinished manifestos; you, the content producer, will shorten your writing time, meet deadlines and have access to story ideas that are ready for development. Pitch ideas to your inner-editor; she’ll help you to produce your best work.

In 10 pithy steps, with examples, I will show writers, in 750 words, how to harvest a germ of a story idea and prepare it for future publication.

As a veteran broadcast journalist for both radio and TV stations, I’m familiar with a “Futures” file. It was the hard copy version WordPress’ “draft” folder. Both serve the same purpose – a receptacle of story pitches for future story development.

Perfect solution for when you, the content producer, is short on time.

  • Wrap it up!

End the story where you began.  Close out with another anecdote or a 1-line reference to the beginning that you’ll use to end it.

BTW, If those  story pitches you’ve prepared in advance aren’t a fit for your blog, then use them to pitch to another (paying) publication.  It’ll mean extra income and if the publication has a large audience you’ll extend your brand.

Happy Pitching!

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