I had the pleasure of writing a guest post for Anne Wayman’s great website, “About Freelancing” and it was published today. My four-year-old blog, “Ramona’s Voices” concerns itself mainly with political opinion, which means I tend to dive right into controversies on purpose–and often for fun. So when Anne asked me to do a piece on writing about controversial subjects–well, of course I dove right in.
The piece is called “How to Survive Writing Opinion Pieces” and it starts like this:
When I began writing a weekly column for a small chain of suburban newspapers, I was thrilled that I could write about anything as long as it fit the space (600-800 words). I had happened upon a lazy editor hungry for content (and eager to pay me as little as possible) and he gave me a chance, even though my newspaper experience was just north of nil.
Ronald Reagan was president then and I was a flaming liberal feminist, so what started out being a column about kids and cats and lovely Liz Taylor’s appearance on General Hospital turned into an ongoing rant against the establishment.
I lived near Detroit at the time and the auto industry was dying. People were losing their jobs right and left. Food banks were emptying out as fast as they were filled, and the churches serving the poor couldn’t keep up. I began to attend emergency meetings on poverty and reported strenuously on the suffering I found.
I wrote about women’s issues, about religion, about civil rights, about the still-strong feelings over Vietnam. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when the letters to the editor began to take on a surly note, most of them directed at me. But I was. I was surprised. They hurt!
I would love it if you would go over to “About Freelancing” to read the rest. And don’t forget to comment. If you feel like it, that is. Either here or there. We both love visitors.
And we both thank you.