Just a brief note to relate a story I was told today. It seems that an adult was discussing with a student the latter’s need to find something someone else wrote to take into their journalism class. The adult had just read my blog post about what it’s like to be goat, and suggested they take a look.
The student later mentioned to the adult they did choose it, and (apparently) the class loved it. I wish I knew more about how it had been discussed. Not for nothing, this maybe is a bit what I meant when I argued that I’m not being “too precious” about my words.
Nothing about a 600-word op-ed version for The Oregonian, I can’t imagine, would have grabbed students this way.
If nothing else, I would add this: whatever audience or outlet you’re ultimately aiming for, always first write exactly what you need to write, the way you need to write it. Even if it’s something you somehow can “pare down” for a particular, restricted use, don’t preemptively surrender battles by writing for others in the first instance.