Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Read it Clear! Read it Loud! (Part One)

Heard from my good friend and former editor Chris Hicks yesterday who reminded me that I've been writing a newspaper column for over ten years. TEN YEARS! My oldest son was in high school when I started up, and honestly I didn't think I'd survive his adolescence, but lookee here! I'm still alive! And so is he!

Right now I'm looking for new ways to keep the column fresh--meanwhile I try to read each new piece aloud so I can see if at least I still SOUND fresh. Over the years I've relied on a few honest friends to listen while I read and give me feedback--my friends Lisa Bickmore and Becky Thomas and my funny brother Jimmy Edwards. And of course my husband is a great listener. I can tell if something is working (or not) by their reactions. Meanwhile I can pick up problems I might not see if I simply read the thing silently.

My point? Reading what you write OUT LOUD is one of the single best things you can do to improve your work.


Lisa B. said...

Look at you, blogging. Awesome and spectacular.

As a fan, let me say--'fresh' is what you, and your writing, are, and also 'sassy.' Also funny and ticklish and sweet and humane. Go, A.E.!

Pink Ink said...

I agree; I don't know how many times I've saved myself from looking like a dork simply by reading something aloud before pushing that send button or mailing it off (although I am still not dork-proof by any stretch of the imagination):-)