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Stephen R. Clark, CleverSmith™ Writing | Writing, Editing, Editorial Project Management
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Stephen R. Clark | HASH

I'm a writer and a journalist.

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My first "real" job was with a trade magazine. The publisher was a scruffy old guy who had moved from newspaper journalism to magazine publisher over a career that spanned decades. He knew a lot about the craft and a lot of people in the business. He was a likeable guy, but definitely no nonsense. His name was (and still is) Bob. Walker, not Knight. More about Bob in a minute.

I came to my love of writing though the door marked "literature" and by the path of "creativity." In this particular milieu journalism was almost a curse word.

Journalism was for hacks. Literature was for the better of us. Now the really stupid thing about this is that my aspirations were firmly aimed at a job in publishing!

On the book side of things, you could call it a literary pursuit. But magazines, which is where I was looking to go, was all about journalism. That was a revelation that I came to rather late, with the help of Bob.

Being a creative writer type, naturally, writing was a time consuming labor of love. It could take hours to write a single paragraph, and days to polish off an entire article. Even though a monthly magazine's deadlines are far from as aggressive as a daily newspaper, they still come pretty fast. Time is not something you have a lot of for producing what I soon learned to call "copy." Although, I'm not fond of that term.

Bob would give me an assignment first thing in the morning that would involve research (the pre-Internet, go to the library, kind of research) and interviewing (by phone or in person), and expect a polished 3,000 - 5,000 word article by the end of the day.

My creative literary sensibilities screamed in protest, knowing that it was impossible to create a finely crafted piece of literature in such a short time. Which is somewhat true but not entirely accurate.

As Bob was able to bore into my brain, good writing doesn't always have to be fine literature. And creativity has many faces, one of which is good journalism, which, when done well, is quite literate. In short order I soon learned how to accomplish exactly what he required, producing decent material quickly.

It is possible and it can actually be fun, even though it's always hard work. I also learned that good journalism is also sometimes produced after hours and days and weeks of research and writing, requiring tremendous creativity, and resulting in both excellent journalism and fine literature.

A couple of excellent journalistic writers are Anna Quindlen and Tom Wolfe. Tracy Kidder is one as well with his excellent book-length dives into single topics, such as The Soul of a New Machine and House.

Journalistic writers come in every hue and tone, covering an even broader array of content. Most can write about nearly anything. I've not met a subject yet that I couldn't write about once it was researched. The quality of the research is key.

Herein are a few examples of journalism. You'll also find "non-journalistic" writing in the form of short fiction and a few poems. Some items have been published elsewhere on paper. Some haven't. Thus, a hash (gallimaufry, hodge podge, odds and ends, salmagundi, farrago*) of content.

Enjoy.

By the way, Bob passed away only a few years ago at 95. You can read more about him here: www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/marchweb-only/112-13.0.html

* More synonyms for hash: gallimaufry, salmagundi, farrago, olio, hodgepodge, conglomeration, crazy quilt, goulash, jumble, medley, miscellany, mishmash, mixed bag, motley, melange, odds and ends, olla podrida, omnium gatherum, pastiche, patchwork, potpourri.

 SHORT STORIES  - Snow Flowers is tied to the events of September 11, 2001. The Thin White Line is a favorite.

 

  1. The Thin White Line

  2. Snow Flowers

  3. The Going Out

  4. The Call

  5. Rose

  6. Remission

 

SERMONS  - Sermons given in various locations over the years. Some include PDFs of the text, and visuals.

  1. Who is this guy? (7/3/2011)

  2. Wise or Unwise (8/2010)

  3. Face Recognition vs. Heart Recognition(7/2010)

  4. CSI: Christian Spiritual Identity (5/2010)

  5. The Bible's SAT (3/2010)

  6. Living the Broken Life Whole (c. 1997)

  7. Never Too Soon, Never Too Late (1989)

  8. The Cost Of Commitment (1988)

 

 ARTICLES  - You may actually find something useful here! Definitely interesting. For current writing, please visit my blog: StephenRClarkBLOG.com.

 

  1. Ten "Its" for Writing Well and Writing Fast

  2. Hang or Jump? That's the Question!

  3. Hey! Don't Be So Forward!

  4. Communicating Change & Other Issues to Employees

  5. Is it Time to Kill the Customer?

  6. Bounce! The Truth About the Job Search

  7. Addled by Ambiguity? Challenged by Change?

  8. A Day Without E-mail is Like a Day Without Sunshine!

  9. An Interview With Jerry Jenkins

  10. An Interview With Hal Lindsey

  11. E-mail & the cc of death!

  12. How to Write Anything Better

  13. How to Develop an Effective Executive Summary

  14. Do You BUBNU?

  15. Focus Your Message First

  16. Tips for Good Design

  17. The Two-Headed Council (1983)

  18. An Interview With Francis & Edith Schaeffer

  19. Bad Apples & Weak Links (1979)

  20. All Temperature Christian (1978)

  21. All's Fair in Love? (1980)
     

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