So, you write?

We have some open reporter positions, which means that we’re hiring writers. Or, in simpler terms, we’re hiring people who are good with words and interested in journalism, regardless of whether they call themselves writers. Writing can be a tough craft to claim, and a hard kind of work to pin down. 

That romanticized vision of happily pecking at a laptop keyboard next to a steaming hot latte at the local coffee shop, words flowing effortlessly onto the page? I’ll level with you: that rarely happens. 

Laptops and coffee shops are great, don’t get me wrong. I love to work at coffee shops, even just answering emails. Often I’m there more for exposure to daylight or because part of me is still chasing that idealized notion of what a writer is or does. There is the research, then there are interviews, and transcribing, and finally there is the putting words onto paper (or a screen). And wringing the words out is hard work, not to be underestimated. 

But the good news is that the work doesn’t end there. That’s where the editors come in, and where writing becomes a truly collaborative act. 

Perhaps for some, the idea of getting feedback on your work is terrifying, but many others will tell you – especially those who’ve done their time, who’ve sent in piece after piece to deadening silence – that comments from an editor are one of the greatest gifts a writer can get. 

At The Uniter, the editing process takes almost as long as the initial writing process. Sending drafts back and forth is part of being a learning paper. It’s a commitment to working with writers of every level, not just to turn out a print-worthy piece, but to impart little bits of knowledge, to share tips and tricks. 

The work put in by the editorial team is meant to make writing less of an isolating process. So if you were ever considering writing – either as a volunteer or to throw your hat into the ring for a reporter position – know that you won’t be doing it alone. And there’s only one way to claim the title of writer: You write. 

– Anastasia Chipelski

Published in Volume 70, Number 18 of The Uniter (February 4, 2016)

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