My parents were editors at a major metropolitan newspaper, and my dad often quoted his managing editor, who fulfilled all ’50s and ’60s movie newsroom stereotypes—puffing on a cigar, shouting across the newsroom. When this editor realized one of his reporters had been scooped by a competing newspaper, he shouted for all the newsroom to hear:
“Never, never, never sit on a story!”
Though I’ve not been in the newspaper business other than writing the occasional feature story, I’ve seen this in my writing life. I’ve learned this lesson. “Never, never, never sit on a story!”
And that’s what I’m here to tell you today.
The times I’ve done nothing more than toy with a story, talking about it with friends and family, tossing it around like I’ve got all the time in the world to develop it, someone else goes ahead and writes it.
Seriously. It’s happened to me multiple times.
If you’ve got an idea in you, don’t sit on it. Don’t just think about it or chat about it with friends and family.
Do something today to make it a reality.
Don’t let somebody scoop you. That idea was given to you. And you will create it for readers, so it’s for them, too.
Take action. Get that idea in motion. Develop it. Finish it.
It might be hard and challenging at times, it’s going to feel risky—but you will have made it a reality.
Never, never, never sit on a story.
When it’s done, you’ll be so glad.
So will your readers.
Ideas from this episode:
- Never sit on a story or someone may scoop you.
- Take action today…and tomorrow.
- Don’t just do a little and stop. That, too, is sitting on a story.
- Fear of failure—fear of rejection—keeps some people from taking action.
- Reject rejection and write the story.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Reviewer Leanne Sowul’s website
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