Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Newspaper writing - out of my heart

Tuesday morning is usually about the time I begin to wonder about next week's op-ed column for the Tampa Tribune (published Wednesday, due on my editor's desk the previous Wednesday). That means that, as of this moment, I have around 30 hours to come up with something and then get busy with the writing.

There are some built in difficulties, however, that impact my work:
  • I can't just write about whatever is on my mind anymore. My column is supposed to comment in some way on local news. People have to be able to see the general Tampa connection. (This is one reason I'm enjoying the blog: this more personal space is a more direct window to my soul; "Derek Maul on the half-shell" might be more than the Tampa Tribune wants... but you can still get it right here!)
  • At the same time my column can't be exclusively "Brandon-centric". Sometimes my article runs in Temple Terrace, downtown Tampa, Plant City, Lutz or Apollo Beach; there has to be a tie in that works for them.
  • One whole week between writing and publishing is a long time. Things may change in a big way during those seven or eight days. Therefore my writing can't be so time-sensitive that it looses its relevance too soon.
These are a few of the reasons I always begin the day with some kind of a devotional exercise. I have this awesome opportunity to speak directly into the minds of tens of thousands of people; how can I even contemplate such a task without tapping into the source of light and creation?

If you're willing, I'd like you to pray with me... "Lord of Creation, please infuse my mind and my spirit with your kind of peace. Help me to frame the thoughts you give me in such a way that those who read my words - our words together - with be walking the path toward truth and wholeness. Amen."

No comments: