One of my original goals was to be more reporter than editorial writer, but I’ve found that the editorial part is important too, though much harder to do. I’ve spent quite a few hours this week trying to write editorial comments to preface the summaries I’m doing of the minutes of the PASS Board of Directors meetings. Writing the summary isn’t too bad, but I find the editorial part challenging. What is worth calling out? Is my perception of a discussion or decision one that others will see, or need to see? Am I assuming too much or too little about what the reader knows about the topic? Am I talking about the good along with the not so good? I’m leveraging various friends (thank you!) for input and have gotten good feedback. It’s hard to write editorial content without diving too far into activism, but at the same time an editorial with no ideas or views doesn’t illuminate as well as it should.
I’ve definitely learned that I have to watch for places where I’m impatient, frustrated, etc, about a topic. Those are often important topics, but all the more reason to try to find the way to explain the issue clearly and calmly. I had one today where I wrote that something “should have been done sooner” and the feedback I got was “does that matter?”, and that was right. It didn’t, at least as written, add value.
I used the word challenging, but I think daunting might be a better fit. Every time I hit publish on one of these I can do good, or not, and I can maintain my reputation or decrease it. High stakes, or at least it seems right now. I’m hoping to get a few more done prior to the Summit so I can get a wider range of feedback. It remains unclear to me if the approach and the vehicle are the correct ones.