Gigantic purple polka-dotted elephants
November 14, 2013
Filed under Guest Viewpoints
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Have I gotten your attention? Great, because we need writers.
That’s right, I’m talking to you. All of you. I’m talking to all the people who found this newspaper under their desk and started reading it before class. All the people on the website, who know they can get their news online rather than in some giant, unbound, archaic loose-leaf mess. I’m talking to every altruistic intellectual, reading this because they like supporting the local paper, and I’m talking to all of the family members, just reading this because their cousin wrote it.
And I’m especially talking to all of the student writers who don’t write. You people exist. I’ve met you. I’ve had the same conversation over and again with you people. It always goes the same way:
“You write for the paper?”
“Yep. I’m pretty amazing.”
“Dude, I totally wanted to write for the paper! Like I was thinking about doing that.”
“We need writers.”
“Like, I don’t even know where go, like how I would start writing there.”
“Here’s an email address. This is my editor. Tell her you would like to write for the paper.”
“Like, what else do you have to do?”
“Have appendages that can use a keyboard.”
And then I never hear from them again. They disappear or they never actually make contact with us. It blows my mind when I meet writing and journalism majors who do zero writing. They don’t even write for fun. What’s your plan? Are you waiting for a more glamorous opportunity?
We’re all at school to get a job we actually like, and people hire people who can show they have some capability. It lets them know that you know what you’re doing. Everything done during college is in preparation for what happens after college. This is an easy way to get yourself some experience.
Now, these aren’t the only people who could write for us. If you’re the friend or the relative or the probation officer of somebody interested in writing, tell them about this paper. I’m assuming you like this paper. And while I question your specific taste in authors (have you seen my other articles?), I commend you for supporting a small, independent publication. All I ask is that you help that student writer you know by telling him or her that we’re totally looking for writers and that it’s not as difficult as they might think.
Let me explain how this works. On Monday, I get an email from the opinion editor. She is also a student here at Akron, so she’s pretty aware of what’s going on around campus. This is great because the email mostly contains a list of topics people could possibly write about. If you don’t feel compelled to write or don’t have time, you don’t do anything. If you want to write about something else, you can go ahead and do that. They’re pretty lenient (again, have you seen my other articles?). You let your editor know you’re working on something, you finish it and you email it out.
And that’s it.
I understand if you’re uncertain or uncomfortable at first. You might think, “I’m not a very good writer,” or “No one’s going to want to read what I write.” I understand. Trust me though, if you like to write and if you’re an intelligent human, you’ve got something to say that someone else wants to hear. You don’t have to be a monumentally talented writer (seriously, have you seen my other articles?). People get better with practice and you will get better after a very short amount of time. If not, well, editors exist for a reason.
They keep telling me that we need more writers. So now I’m telling you.
We need writers.