Have you ever sent a Letter to the Editor? One of the requirements for the local newspaper is 300 words or less. You have to say what you want to say, make your point, in 300 words or less? Typically, I write a letter to the editor when I feel strongly about something. Whether it’s something in local politics, of personal concern or global impact, I feel passionate enough to grab my pen and paper and scribble something down on the page.
When I do this, I can write up to 1000 words easily. I bet you can too if you are riled enough. And then, I have the challenge to whittle this down to only THREE HUNDRED WORDS. I’ve learned to love this type of editing. And as a writer, I believe it’s good to learn to love this process. Because now you get to craft, refine and chisel to create a lovely sculpture of what you truly want to say having chosen the best words in which to convey your message.
Give it a go! Is there something in your community that you have a “gripe” or otherwise passionate energy around? Write a letter to the local newspaper. First, say everything you could possibly want to say about the topic. That free-writing that we’ve discussed before. Walk away and then come back and begin the whittling, refining, crafting process. It’s a great practice for other types of writing. Enjoy it!