Before starting this blog, I used to vent my thoughts by writing letters to newspapers. I’ve probably had about two dozen printed, but haven’t done many in recent years.
I actually wrote several before I had one published. After that, I hit on the formula, and most every letter I sent after that was printed somewhere.
Here’s my formula:
1. Always start by referencing a specific article or previous letter that recently appeared in the publication. Random rants are the stuff of blogs, not op-ed pages.
2. Keep it short. No paragraph should be longer than three simple sentences. You might be burning to pen an intricate analysis, but it’ll never see the light of day.
3. End with a memorable sound bite: a pithy quip, quote, accusation, or call to action.