AUTISTIC NICK’S JOURNALISTIC WRITING PROCESS
By the time that you read this another of my articles for the ABC will have been published. For this week’s blog post I thought I’d break down the steps that I follow in order to get a polished finished article ready for publication. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-22/online-fashion-brands-improve-access-for-people-with-disability/13176348
Every time that I had an idea for a possible article, I write it down in my notebook. Usually every Monday I contact my ABC mentor and we discuss my top four ideas.
I find that I can usually narrow it down to four. These four-story ideas are the ones that we both agree have strong story telling potential. Then in detail we discuss the pros and cons of each idea.
By the end of that process (yes, I know I’ve used the word process a lot in this blog post so far. It’s like when they tell an eliminated reality show contestant let’s look back at your journey, and on cue a retrospective of every fight, every tear, and everything that they’d ever said appears on screen for them to react to one more time, before heading back to the real world.) This isn’t about reality show rejects it was just a comedy Segway.
FINDING THE TALENT
Now, this isn’t about seeking applicants for a reality show. No, this is about finding those people who will contribute to my article.
For example, the last article I wrote was about disability and fashion. I started by doing a google search for disabled models and contacting them to see if they would be interested in being a part of my article. I then sought out my sister who runs https://styleability.com.au/ as she is a fashion blogger and has contacts within the fashion industry. Once I had both models and my sister secured, I then set about writing my interview questions for them to answer. I prefer to email people my questions, I’m not very good on the phone as it makes me nervous and I find it overwhelming to speak with someone over the phone.
Lucky for me the models and my sister agreed that I could email them my questions. I also request that they all send me up to four photo’s that they would be happy for me to use of them in the article as well as informing me of the photographer credits too.
CONSTRUCTING THE ARTICLE
At this point it’s safe to assume that all the talent have gotten back to me within the time of the deadline and I now have the task of actually writing the piece!
A great tip that my mentor passed onto me was this. Open their answers in a word document, then read it and anything that stands out to you highlight it in yellow (or whatever colour you like).
That way you can start to see an overview who is the stronger out of the talent and who is the weaker. It becomes apparent in this process who will lead my story and who won’t.
I then begin to write and introduction, a middle and an end using all the answers to my questions from the relevant talent.
By the fourth draft the article is starting to take shape and I then sit with my mentor and we go through each paragraph and determine what will be cut and what won’t.
I do include some stats and have the links to back them up which also adds weight to the article.
I also email the talent and let them know that the article is out and here is the link for them to share it out on their various social media channels.
The day my article comes out is the day that Facebook decides to (bastards) not allow Australian news content on its site!
But fear not as I tweeted the shit out of it and hash tagged the shit out of it too! I linked all the talent to the article too via my twitter account and I strongly encouraged the talent to do the same! Which I’m reliably told they did!
I am now currently working on my next article and I will be repeating this whole process all over again!
For those readers that did read the article whilst I have written articles exclusively around me and my Autism, this one was wasn’t about my lived in real life experience of living with Autism it was about the daily struggles that other disabled people faced with finding affordable, wearable clothing for themselves and it was certainly eye opening in terms of what they go through and the barriers that they face when entering a clothes shop.
You can read the article here https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-22/online-fashion-brands-improve-access-for-people-with-disability/13176348 and to read any past articles that I’ve written for the ABC click here https://autisticnick.com/portfolio-of-published-articles/
CARRY ON THE CONVERSATION
As always, I can be found on Twitter:@AutisticNickAU
Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.