I have spent the last 24 hours basically conducting an online writing-for-beginners class with one of our reporters. I am sure people pay dearly for these things in the real world. Perhaps I should investigate…
Anyway, this particular person has many talents. It seems though, that writing ain’t one of them which is rather unfortunate in my neck of the woods. Even more unfortunate because I am the person who usually ends up crafting her work into something less likely to give the editor a heart attack.
Sadly, she is all too aware of this. So she now has a new trick: putting absolutely everything into quotes. Perhaps she was a secretary from the 1950s in a former life; looking over her work is more like reading a dictation than an authored piece. I have mentioned this a few times but the point is not really sinking in. So yesterday I went for the Screamingly Obvious approach.
‘If I told you that the sky is blue,’ I said, ‘and you were doing a story about it, then you wouldn’t need to quote me as saying that. The sky is blue – it doesn’t matter who thinks so. If you wanted to use a quote from me I would need to say something that added some kind of background or colour or opinion, such as: ‘it’s because it isn’t raining,’ explains zuzula. Or somesuch.’
I feel like a primary school teacher. For this I spent three years studying literature. Sigh.
Ooh, in other news, I have been invited to edit a professional blog for six weeks! Predictably my boss won’t let me take a secondment so for the time being I shall effectively have two jobs, hurrah. But money for blogging… fancy that. I never thought people would want to pay me for my online witterings.