Pay Attention To…



I’m often asked if there is something I think writers ought to do, and recently in an interview I heard myself say: ‘Several things. Love words, agonize over sentences. And pay attention to the world.’ “

“Needless to say, no sooner had these perky phrases fallen out of my mouth than I thought of some more recipes for writer’s virtue.”

“For instance: “Be serious.” By which I meant: Never be cynical. And which doesn’t preclude being funny.”

~ Susan Sontag, At the Same Time: Essays and Speeches


This is true for air talent as well.

Cynicism is so easy. You can hear it on every Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity show.

And that’s why it’s dangerous: because we see how successful they are, and we want success. But not at that price.

Don’t take the easy route.

Don’t be a ditto-head because no one will remember you 5 days after you leave the air.

Be a unique voice. Find unique ways to entertain and capture my precious attention.

There are so many sources for ideas from truly great thinkers. Reading opens their minds to you.

You literally have unlimited access to material with which to work, to shape your content.

Pay attention to the world and to the words you use.

Spend time thinking about the stories you tell.

Understand that you have the stage and the ability to transform a listener’s life today.

Accept the challenge.

Move me to become the better self I want to be.

That is within your power.