|It never gets old.|
I heard about the story in September. I didn't talk to Bryan for the first time until December. Soon after, I talked to his dad, his mom and a former Charlotte Checkers player that Bryan has known since he was a stick boy for the Charlotte minor league hockey team.
I wrote my first draft sometime after Christmas. I would completely rewrite it at least twice more. I rewrote or rearranged sections many more times.
I talked to Bryan on the phone four different times and asked him other questions via text. I talked to his mom three times. I think I asked the same question about 40 times.
But each new interview and revision made the story better. For that, I have my editors to thank.
To me, this one of the hardest lessons for a writer to learn. In high school and college, I would write a paper or an article at the last second, never look over it and get a good grade. I thought everything I wrote was good the first time around. No need to go back and change anything.
So when an editor tells me to go back and rework an article, it's hard. I feel like I did a bad job. But that's not it. It's part of the process. You write, you edit, write again, revise, rewrite, rework, edit and then, finally, publish.
There's a quote I read that sums it up best. I recently used it in a presentation to high school students interested in journalism. I hope they were listening.
"There is no great writing. Only rewriting."
Read the story on the Observer website here.