Saturday, May 17, 2008

It's always easy when you don't have to do it.

Key communicators at W&M have been volunteers for the re.web writing effort - Henry Broaddus, Renell Franklin, Joe McClain, Steve Otto, Melissa Pinard, Andrea Sardone, John Wallace, Jaime Welch-Donahue and Brian Whitson are contributing ideas for W&M Impact, W&M Inquiry, and W&M Style. If you've been following the weekly CopyWrite feature on this blog, you know we're working on special interest features for the new website.
It's always easy when you don't have to do it.

So I think I'm a decent writer - I've been posting to this blog, I've been writing for IT for 10 years, in fact, writing has been a part of every job I've ever had. How hard could it be to write a 350 word SPIFF?

So early one Saturday morning, I opened my laptop, and copied a story from W&M News into a Word doc. Armed with a cup of coffee and my keyboard, I planned to follow a good friend's advice - "when writing a SPIFF, boil it down and punch it up."
It's always easy when you don't have to do it.

I've been thinking about what Henry Broaddus said yesterday during our third SPIFF-writing meeting. Loosely quoted, "Are the best SPIFFs born as SPIFFs?" In my words, perhaps we shouldn't start with an existing magazine or news item by default. Some of these pieces will be spiffable, some will not.

None of the features appearing in W&M Impact, W&M Inquiry, and W&M Style will be written by me. I can't write one, but I know a great one when I read it.

posted by Susan Evans

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