Adapted from an introduction to a lecture by Ken at a Writer's
a commercial wordsmith.
facts and, like the fish and chips, wrap them up in a parcel
to take home. I am a mechanic, but having said that I like
to think that a lot of what I do is creative.
never attempted writing for pleasure - I'm flat out writing a
letter to my mother. I wouldn't dare attempt poetry - my repertoire
extending as far as The Sentimental Bloke, Ogden Nash and
a few filthy limerics.
time I think about writing a play or a book - which I would like
to do one day - writing for money gets in the way. I
am a living example of the ability to succeed as a commercial
writer - with few other qualifications other than curiosity
and a highly developed survival instinct.
taught to write by old newspaper sub-editors who told me to get
out of the office and hang around the pubs and the courtrooms.
an example of the ability of the human brain to switch - computer
like - from one program to another in an instant.......a press
statement one minute, a complex technical script the next,
followed by a piece of comedy writing for a newsletter and
then a report for a Senate Committee of Inquiry. And I do
it all at a speed which most CEO's could only dream about.
a former journalist - I don't admit to it too often these days
considering the growing entertainment quality of the media.
in from the cold and joined the real world - writing on a variety
of subjects in the public relations industry.
forte is script writing - documentaries mainly. I
have learnt to adapt writing styles to a range of commercial
pursuits. I see everything in pictures. When I play music,
I see pictures in accompaniament. This is an important talent
to have for script writing.
does journalism and writing have anything in common.
mate of mine who was never a journalist, but who came up through
the advertising industry and developed a great writing talent,
used to review some of my early documentary scripts. His instruction
was brief - "Ken, when are you going to stop being a journalist
and become a writer." In examining myself in more detail
at that point, I found that I was full of tired old reporting
cliches - they still use them today.
journalism simply literature in a hurry. Is journalism, in the
words of Oscar Wilde,
unreadable, and literature unread.
the other hand is literature simply news that stays news. Is
indeed writing the only profession where no one considers you
ridiculous if you earn no money.
we all know, there's a great power in words, if you don't hitch
too many of them together. Another great man said, 'If
you would be pungent, be brief; for it is with words
as with sunbeams - the more they are condensed, the deeper they
more you say, the less people remember. The fewer the words,
the greater the profit. ....and to finish my repertoire of quotations
about writers and journalists.....I was brought up to think
like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people."
Putting together a website is more than just an electronic
brochure of my capabilities.
I've chosen to make this website a window on my life.
It is a technology that enables me to assemble a great number of
memories and stories and pictures in a way in which the casual browser
will find something to amuse or criticise.
It may also become useful as a family resource, hence
my plan to put the Newton family history in a section of this
site so that my 40 or more years of off-and-on genaeological research
can be shared with other family members.