Originality is elusive today in every place that people write – not just in journalism, but in academia, professional writing, book publishing, speech writing and politics.
In our panic to keep up with a changing world, we’ve failed to identify new methods for originality. We need to look to the writer-editor relationship, to the community of writers and thinkers, and to the very process that writers use to go from nothing to something.
It has to be said; my relationship with my editor at Time’s Entertainment vertical – who pushes me beyond the first pitches for a story, and then offers and suggests edits to the first draft that always make it a far stronger story – is something that I really treasure. It makes me a better writer, definitely, but so does having the time to take three days or so to get the Time story done. I agree that there needs to be more push towards original thinking in modern writing, but the sheer pace of most online writing works against that, in my experience.