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.