The Most Terrifying Thing in the World
A blank piece of paper.
Every writer faces it almost every day of their lives.
It frightens the good ones and terrifies the great ones.
The mediocre have very little trouble filling the blank
piece of paper. Mostly with blank thoughts which they call Creativity.
The good ones fill the blank piece of paper with sweat
and sometimes good thoughts which they call effort.
The great ones fill the blank piece of paper with blood
and a few tears. And almost always great thoughts which they leave unlabelled
because labels are unnecessary.
If you are someone searching for meaning in the printed word, look for the writer who is terrified by a blank piece of paper. I
I never professed to be a great journalist, or indeed a great writer. In fact, when I look at some fo the stuff I churned out in my early days at the craft, I shudder.
Journalism is a bit like playing the piano. The more you practice, the better at it you become. I thought I should put some of my reportage on this site for posterity.
By no means a collection of the best, but perhaps the most interesting, or a few milestones in my life.
At the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, where I did my cadetship, by-lines were rarely allowed. These days, some twerp who does three paras on the prevailing weather gets a by-line. There was a clear distinction between day to day reporters and feature writers. In fact, I don't believe we had any feature writers, so named, on staff. Features were written by senior journalists and this did not happen very often. One day, the Chief of Staff threw out a challenge. We could all have a go at writing a feature, and if accepted, it would carry our by-line.
We all jumped at the chance. Here's my contribution. It's a piece on Lester Coombs, who I knew through the Railway Recreation Club which I was quite adicted to as a teenager. Lester used to pull together a country western band for the annual breakup party, and I recall one year, I played the jew's harp in one number. Lester went off to England eventually to seek the bigtime. He did a song about an out of control truck full of chickens many years ago which got a lot of airplay, but apart from that, I had totally lost contact. Here's the story I wrote, and it is my first by-line.
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