A Writer Always Watches

It amazes me how quickly stories can be found in a journalistic sense, merely by observing and looking for the angle yet untouched.

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Take this week for example, that started with two separate and unrelated questions from human resource management graduates worried about finding their first job.

The questions were so genuine and heartfelt that as a human resources pro I had to offer an answer.

Which led to a broad article by me on graduate career strategy, augmented in coverage by a further query on the ethics of recruitment agencies.

Remembrance Day then loomed on November 11.

I’ve always been serious about observing its minute of silence at 11am. But browsing around LinkedIn—the social media home of business—there wasn’t even a mention of it though November 11 fell on a working day this year.

Hence, an article by me on molding corporate procedure around the day’s respect: which soon led to another piece about what the day meant to me with the story playing on the theme “they didn’t know why”—surprising because of who “they” tuned out to be.

But the greatest writing joy came today, in fact, from an utter sense of frustration borne by a friend on Facebook who posted a picture captioned by someone else as a meme.

This picture showed a World War 2 veteran kneeling on a beach. Its caption asked people to share it to honor those who served. But hold on!

It didn’t mention who this poor guy was. Where was his honor in all this?

So I spent the morning tracking his story down. It’s a photo that now has meaning, even immense pathos, as we can now guess why he found himself on the sands of Normandy decades later.

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The message here, is that even if you wake not having a clue what the day will bring, it isn’t hard to find a story to tell by its end. Just look around, browse online, listen in on conversations: watch.

Eventually something will push your imagination.