By Crystal Thompson
The time has come once again for "My Turn" to be printed. I have to say that I truly look forward to writing of my own free will and opinion every month, without having to follow the many press guidelines that reporters like me struggle with.
I am the first to admit that I am not the greatest at sticking to rigid rules when it comes to my writing. I am a severely right-brained thinker, which tends to show through in many of my articles. My creative tendencies sometimes overshadow my journalistic tendencies, which can cause my end product to become somewhat of an editor's disaster.
I will also admit that I am, by nature, more of a poet than a reporter. For those who are familiar with creative writing of any sort, you know that there are few rules and regulations that govern it, which for someone like me, makes it a lot easier to write. Sometimes I inadvertently carry my poetic license over to my reporting, and it becomes a problem. So, to those out there who find my writing atrocious, I sincerely apologize.
Some writers need strict guidelines in order to write effectively; when they are told what to write and how to write it, it is easier for them to report on a given subject. For others, myself included, it is much simpler if someone gives them the information and a blank page and says "create". I have learned, however, that I should attempt to stifle any sing-songy verses and stick to delivering the facts when it comes to news articles; maybe someday I'll become a "real" reporter.
I am continually training myself to work on my reporting skills, and leave my artsy-type alliterations and metaphors for my monthly column. It has been difficult for me, but I hope that some improvement has been noticed. I am continually trying to work on improving my knowledge of Associated Press guidelines and grammar for my diligent readers out there, so bear with me.
I am lucky to have received more compliments on my articles than complaints, however, and I thank everyone who has taken the time to call me, send me a card, or let me know when they see me that they enjoy something I've written. The past six months with the Havre Daily News has truly been a learning experience for me, and I'm enjoying it immensely, I can only hope to learn more and improve as I go along.
I was recently given the Ag Wednesday page to lay out each week. I guess that means I've advanced a tiny bit in my position as rookie reporter, I don't know. Anyway, my first go around at lay out proved not to be too difficult, and I think I'll get the hang of it soon enough. This will help me stay busy during those not-so-newsworthy days. I also cover the agriculture "beat", so if anyone has an ag story, contact me! (Yes, that was a shameless story solicitation, maybe I am becoming a true reporter...)
Writing has been, and will continue to be a very enjoyable part of my life. I vow to continue learning new ways of writing and how to properly report news, so that I may be the best all-around writer I can be. So, please bear with me if I tend to insert unnecessarily long adverbs or cutesy-wutesy adjectives into my stories, rest assured that I am trying my hardest to separate poet from reporter.
By the way, that ominous "w" word is continuing to sneak up on me rather quickly. I will be a bride exactly four months from this Friday. Since my previous panicky article, I have received my bridesmaids dresses and have confirmed my musicians. I'll be ordering my invitations at the end of this month. I'll bring you further adventures of "Crazed Crystal Plans Her Wedding" in a future My Turn article.