I really enjoyed chatting to the journalist from the Burton Mail the other day. I was pleased he’d given me 20 hours to mull over the questions, because that meant I could give him some indepth answers. But then his questions were very deeply personal ones as well.
It was a real fun thing to do, and we went through the answers over the phone. But I had to give him a pre-warning before we’d even started……..
Some of the answers had been changed, to ones that were more a little more, well, suitable for a family newspaper. Ok, he said with a laugh…. and we started with the questions….
Where and when I was born, hobbies, favourite food (which he was surprised about since my choice wasn’t a typical one), favourite book (again a surprise for him since he’d never heard of it) and favourite film (I did really well and narrowed it down to four from about twenty! Since I’ve never had the just one answer!). Proudest moment, biggest inspiration, biggest love, favourite belonging, most embarrassing moment, hopes for the future, what I’d like to have written on my epitaph, but it was when we got to biggest and best achievement that we had the biggest problem. Because I was emphatic on my answer, and knew that he would struggle to put it in the paper. When I explained, he said that he himself was ok about it, but the paper wouldn’t be. Ok, then, how do we phrase it so that they are happy with it, because this is definitely my answer. Ok…… I told him how I would word it, and asked him which part he wasn’t happy about, and it was the one word I was expecting, the rest was ok. So, we had to write it so that I got the point across without spelling it all out in exact wording to make the vicar blush!
At the end of the session, he had a word count and was surprised that it was 600 odd, and that left him with a problem since it had to be 420. Ok, a bit of editing needed to be done then! Between us we went through what he had written, and he apologised for the fact we had to cut my words down, and he said that normally people don’t put enough words in and it needs padding out. I said I could have easily doubled it, and had struggled in the first place to cut it down to make it more succinct! We worked on the phrasing, and between us got it down to 420 words. I said to him that he was the expert wordsmith and should know how to do it naturally, but as I worked through it he said I did it easily, and I grinned over the phone and said I wrote a blog post two or three days a week so was used to it!
I enjoyed chatting to him very much, and have a feeling we’ll chat again.
Oh, and the thing that I feel is my biggest and best achievement, and the thing we had problems with? Well, it was the Fantasy Fannies, of course! LOL
I think we rephrased it to something like “feminine abstracts” which sort of hinted at it, without it being a problem for the paper!!!!
I’ll show you when I’ve done it, and explain a little about it for you……………..