A persimmon seed, Jupiter and the Bering Sea walk into a bar.
“What are you looking at?” a surly patron asks.
“I’m just looking at warm spells,” the persimmon seed says.
“I’m looking at frigid air and snow,” says Jupiter.
“Well, I’m looking at a back loaded winter and your stupid face,” the Bering Sea says before sweeping the patron away in a rush of freezing water and sending him to his watery grave.
Despite the setup, winter weather is no joke. Predictors use a variety of factors to determine what the quickly approaching winter season will hold in terms of temperature and snow. Here’s a few of the predictions for this winter.
The seeds of winter predictions have been growing for months– years even. Only the arrival of winter’s actual weather will determine which of the seeds actually blossoms. The rest will probably just be cut in half for next year’s winter predictions.
That was my first (and favorite) lead for my winter weather story and my fourth or fifth ending. I knew the lead wouldn’t make it through due to its length and the fact it wasn’t exactly that funny or insightful. But it appealed to my niche-ish humor. I remembered what I had thought when I wrote the lead for my leaves story. “It’s always better to just try,” I thought.
Of course, there is no black and white in the world of newsprint.
That was awful. I’m sorry I wrote it.
Regardless, the actual point is that just writing obnoxious leads isn’t the best route in journalism. There’s a fine line between writing for yourself (and your stupid humor) and writing for actual people. Writing for yourself is barely okay on a super-personal blog. If it’s getting published, you have to be aware that what you think is perfect is always flawed for others. It’s way too easy to just wrap it up in your head and pass it off as okay.
Remembering the reader is harder than actually writing.
There aren’t any stories that are made for you. They’re made for everyone but you. Most of the time, you have to get that story to them without your fingerprints all over it. Your signature is meaningless if it obscures what it’s written on.