So it was the last 4 days of my holidays. I was traveling from Zürich, Switzerland, to Berlin, Germany via Frankfurt, Germany.
The train from Frankfurt to Berlin was extremely crowded. It was difficult to find a seat for myself, let alone a window seat. So I randomly selected an aisle seat of a two-seat seating setup. The passenger sitting on the other seat, quite a stunning looking man, was typing a long write-up using MS Word on his Dell laptop.
After sometime, maybe after seeing my train ticket and travel documents, he asked me about my travelling.
As most of you who know me well enough knows;
I love to talk!
If no one is around, I break myself into two and talk to the other imaginary self.
So this invitation was like fuel to a fire! 💁♂️🤦♂️🙆♂️
Coincidentally, he is a Journalist, a real life Journalist who is writing to a German Newspaper, both paper based and online. His primary field was politics. I was super excited all of a sudden. I felt so blessed.
Thank you for giving me yet another opportunity to learn. Not to mention from a stunning looking teacher, who was friendly.
was what I muttered in my head.
So, what did I learn?
I asked him about his writing style and about “editors”. I mean, what else to ask from a real life Journalist who was passionately writing about some political campaign which was happening first time in German political history.
What was his favourite colour?
What I learnt about Editors
So do editors just edit spelling, grammar, and maybe some words and tone of voice, or do they ever completely take away your message and your personality from your writing?
They only edit the spelling and grammar, or sometimes change my words to better communicate my message. They never change it too much. I never feel it has changed too much.
I was so glad to here this.
Most of my friends in creative industries have told me that after editing or going through client presentations, their original message is completely gone, and overtime, they don’t see their creativity and get bored!
It appears either editors have changed or this dude was blessed with good editors. Either way he is blessed.
What I learnt about his writing styles
So when you write do you present facts to present all aspects discussing pros and cons, so that readers can make their own decisions or do you present your opinion and present accordingly?
What I learnt about his styles:
He primarily uses two methods for his writing:
- If and when he has an opinion about a situation, he discusses the facts and findings that promotes and prooves this opinion.
Editors apparently have no issues with this as they feel he is entitled to have an opinion.
- When he has no opinion, or it is merely about a situation that cannot have any biases, he discusses the different sides through his findings and leave things in the hands of the reader.
I love this style the most.
But, a writer is a human. It is an interpretation based on information they have gathered, seen through the lense of their experiences of life.
Readers always must be somewhat responsible as well.
Of course some readers may say “You are judgemental” or something that oppose the views of the writer.
I think a writer must hear them, but not take it onboard fully. Just have it as a background voice to observe. At least that is what I do as a novice writer who only writes on a blog.
After a while he mentioned he has to finish his article and politely asked me to shut up 💁♂️
I took this opportunity to write about a painting that I saw in Strasbourg, France, in the Museum of Fine Arts.
He finished his article and we were getting close to Berlin. I also finished my blog.
It felt cool to be sitting next to an actual writer and write, while they were also writing. I felt like we were still communicating. I felt like a child!!! 🤦♂️
Sooooo, we got to talk again, about other stuff. I also managed to show him a few of what I wrote, and get a little validation.
Yep. Sometimes I like a little validation. 💁♂️
But, good news is I observe it to the best of my ability. If not at the moment, moments later, could be days, weeks, or months. But, I revisit it.
Thank you Mr. German Newspaper Journalist who travelled on ICE692 which arrived in Berlin at 1429 hours last Thursday, 5th September, who is finishing all his work before he takes a break to visit family. (I didn’t ask him his name or anything else – was a little too shy, I saw he was on twitter, but felt a little too shy!!! 🤦♂️)
I absolutely loved the chat, and felt really blessed.
Who knows, maybe one day I see you again.
– Nim –