Monday, January 10, 2011

Letters to the Editor

One of Life's pleasures is writing a Letter to the Editor

I encounter a news item or feature in the paper - my morning read is The Globe and Mail - that draws an immediate reaction: yea or nay, sometimes gentle, sometimes fierce. The next thing I know, I'm walking around the house marshalling my ideas into three or four sentences that capture the absolute essence of my response. 

It has to be short. It has to be focused. It has to be relevant. No tangents, no wandering, and, if possible, not too much "I".  The secret of a good letter to the editor is to send a message that is more about the issue and less about you.

Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.  Today it did work, and my response to weekend columns about hockey (a passion of mine) by Roy MacGregor and Christie Blatchford made it into The Globe.

Another one of Life's pleasures is opening up to the Comment page and seeing your name in print. Okay, it's just a Letter to the Editor. But it's still the product of careful reading, contemplation and writing.

A Letter to the Editor is the writing process in a nutshell - with a nation of readers built in for free.

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