There are times when you have an article finished and you wonder if you’ve really done the piece justice. Here’s a few things to keep in mind:
5. It has great sources.
Great sources include leaders or well known folks in the field, interesting subjects that give a personal perspective to the piece or sources with something new to offer on an evergreen topic. Great sources have been vetted, they provide accurate information and there’s a demand for the information they are offer.
4. There are no holes.
All the questions have been answered – the ‘why’s’ and ‘why not’s’ researched and the ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘where’ and ‘when’ exposed. Attention has been paid to the audience and what they want to know.
3. It’s been thoroughly edited.
The editing process went beyond spell check. The article was allowed to marinate, then read aloud, printed out and double checked. It has been screened more than Dionne Warwick at the airport.
2. It has a killer lede (lead).
The kind of lead that stops you in your tracks and pulls you in like an ant at a cook out. The lede (lead) is catchy without being cliche, makes the reader think and stops the reader from turning the page.
1. You know it’s awesome.
Writers know when they’ve given an article their best. They know when a turn of phrase is magical or when an interview subject has just given the pull-out quote. It’s almost orgasmic when a piece or a lede seems to write itself, flowing from brain through fingers and out onto the computer screen. It is equally satisfying when an article is hard won. It’s a fight between the writer and the words and only one can win. The struggle to get every transition smooth, every bullet point packed with succinct information and finally, finally, victory. An article is good when there’s no need to see the score, you already know who won.