Here’s my October 21 newsletter. To receive my latest articles, favorite religion reads and other updates in your inbox each Saturday, sign-up here.
My team at the Deseret News met recently to discuss attention-grabbing opening paragraphs, which are also known as ledes. A colleague who regularly makes me smile with her quirky intros led the meetings, describing how important it is to set aside a good chunk of time, 30 minutes or an hour, to get your creative juices flowing.
I was ashamed. Thirty minutes or an hour? I regularly spend entire mornings trying to come up with the right lede. I turn bright red thinking about someone watching me write and rearrange the same basic ideas over and over again.
The problem is that it’s hard to put myself in the shoes of someone who doesn’t care about religion news. I’m obsessed with faith stories, so I soldier through them whether or not the writer found an epic opening line. I’m hoping to adjust this aspect of my writing, though, so feel free to send me examples of ledes that delighted you or made you gasp. I want to find ways to draw new people into my work and shorten my embarrassing brainstorming sessions.
FRESH OFF THE PRESS FROM ME
TOP RELIGION READS
D.C.’s huge new Museum of the Bible includes lots of tech — but not a lot of Jesus, The Washington Post
The role of sports ministries in the NFL protests, Religion & Politics
JUST FOR FUN
Here’s a picture of Cheeto attacking a Halloween cookie. What a goblin.