By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Bladine: Any one of you can be that writer

Based on the current focus of your eyes, I know you can read. The question is, can you write?

Before answering, ask yourself if there’s anything you’d like to say: Something that might be personally fulfilling? Something that might interest, move or otherwise be important to others? If so, the answer to Question No. 1 is: you can write.

James Somers, a prolific writer of articles, blog posts and computer programs, expanded on that notion with a blog post entitled, “More people should write.” A few quotes:

“More people should … sit at their computers and … write full sentences about themselves and the things they care about.


Jeb Bladine is president and publisher of the News-Register.

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“You should write because when you know that you’re going to write, it changes the way you live … That’s the promise: you will live more curiously if you write. You will become a scientist, if not of the natural world then of whatever world you care about. More of that world will pop alive. You will see more when you look at it.

“Writing needn’t be a formal enterprise to have this effect. You don’t have to write well. You don’t even have to “write,” exactly — you can just talk onto the page.”

Somers struck an insightful note by describing a commitment to write as “an attractor for and generator of thought.” He said it causes him to listen differently and remember things better, adding, “everything will mean more to me.”

A starting point, following advice from Somers, would be taking notes about your day-to-day experiences, writing letters or meaty emails to friends, drawing out their thoughtfulness into an inbox populated by “the thoughts of humans you like.”

This newspaper’s community value depends a great deal on the willingness of local people to write their thoughts for others to read. We depend not only on letters and op-ed articles for publication, but also on private and often blunt-force messages critiquing our work.

You can write. You can convert heartfelt thoughts and feelings to print. And simply by thinking that sometime, you will write about something of personal interest, “everything will mean more to you.”

As final encouragement, consider that one of our best-ever newspaper storytellers was not, at first, a particularly skilled writer. It doesn’t matter – we have editors who can fill that gap. But only the writer can produce the necessary combination of facts and opinions, substance and passion.

That writer could be you.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at or 503-687-1223.