A few weeks ago I couldn't sleep. I put myself to bed at a reasonable hour with the intention of rising early to begin writing a feature story for the newsletter I was creating. I tossed and turned, literally. Eventually, I had to face the fact that I wasn't tired. I was too wired to sleep because I was looking forward to the journalistic writing ahead of me. I sat up in bed, "woke up" my phone, opened a word document and typed the following:
The director of the Academic Center for
Writing is a difficult guy to pin down. Ask him about his daily schedule
and you're likely to hear a response describing the multitude of
meetings he has. Quite possibly, he is about to be late. "I'm on so many
committees, some I started myself," he says. That is quintessential
(*), a man who is dedicated to his job and passionate about the
students he serves.
Once it was out of my head, I had no problem
falling asleep. It's interesting how it happens that way sometimes. I
can't remember another time I was that excited about journalism.
this year, my father, in an attempt to cajole me out of a malaise,
suggested that I write some news stories. He would act as my editor. He
pitched me an idea and I followed up and wrote a short "newsy" story. It
was excruciating. I had to fight through the writing process and was
not happy with the final product. I don't even know where it is now.
when I began writing this latest feature story, it flowed from me so
easily and naturally that comparisons to riding a bike sprang to
Maybe it was because I had a more active role in the
research and interview process for that story than I did for the one I
wrote for my father. Or, maybe it was that I was writing for myself,
both as a writer and as the executive editor of the newsletter.
Honestly, I can't place the reason, but I know that it was invigorating to
find myself in the middle of the process again.
I look forward to more nights interrupted by flashes of journalistic insight.
* Names have been removed to protect privacy