Chris BishopBy Chris Bishop|July 25, 2022|3 Minutes|In Editor's Desk

Editor’s Desk

I write, therefore I am.

More than 41 years into the job; I am at the time of life when you reflect on a career spent writing for a crust. It has been long , hard, but rarely dull.

Most people think we journalists spend our lives in the thick of the action – sure, for long periods we do –  but the bulk of our career is spent doing what I am doing right now, in the depths of a Sunday night;  eyes fixed on a blank page trying to will the words from your soul to grind out yet another story.

It’s not easy. To me good, disciplined, writing is as much a headache as a joy, but can be as satisfying as scoring a goal from 30 yards for the footballers among you.

Those golden days when words flow forth like butter off a hot knife are few and far between. They usually come forth in the loaded hour when a story is popping and you don’t have time to think; each sentence  born of pure  instinct powered by a gut feeling.

They say we journalists write the first draft of history; the first taste of events before perspective and hindsight. One day – after we are all dead and gone –  people will pull out a story I have written to learn the history of our times .

I am proud to say I have  written millions of words in the last four  decades; many thousands  linger on the internet. Often, I will be half way through a story from 20 years ago before I realise it was the fruit of my own pen.

I was lucky that my writing took me all over the world and gave me a front seat to the making of history from the streets to the battlegrounds to the corridors of power.  I interviewed them all down years: Mandela; Mugabe; Chissano; Zuma; Kaunda; Chiluba and Ramaphosa. I was paid to travel the world and loved every minute of it. Not for me the dreary world of being tied to the same workbench, office or classroom for life.

So entrepreneurs, where do you fit into this writing thing ?

Well, the ability to write is not only a sign of an orderly and expressive mind, but also a skill you can employ to sell your business .

My advice? Always write to express, rather than impress. One thought per sentence.

Never be afraid of a short sentence. Sure. Say what you mean. Don’t review until penned the last word.

Oh, and write each story as if it were your last! Happy writing.