Writing Something You’re Not So Familiar With

Rugby pic from The Guardian.com

So, almost a month ago I started a new job working as a journalist in a small town. I am loving it so far, and I don’t imagine that will change.

Journalism is a far different way of writing. I do try to inject a little bit of a personal touch in my articles. It’s my hope that the readers will be able to relate to the subject a bit more. The feedback on that style has been great so far.

Sometimes, though, journalism can take you into areas that you don’t necessarily know that well or understand.

For instance: sports. I’m not a very sporty person. I did play netball when I was in primary school, but only for a couple of years. When I started high school, I wasn’t able to join the netball team because of finances, and as much as I loved tennis, I didn’t get much of a chance to do that either.

When it comes to other games which, for years have been male-dominated, I’m rather in the dark. I understand cricket, I suppose, in that I know how the points (runs) are scored, and I could probably name a few of the New Zealand cricketers from the 1980s, but ask me who is currently the captain of the New Zealand Black Caps and I wouldn’t have a clue.

In rugby, I’m not in the same boat. In fact, I’m not even in the same stratosphere as my knowledge of cricket. I’ve watched maybe three rugby games in total in my life and I couldn’t tell you what was going on or how many points go to which action. I could perhaps name a dozen famous rugby players in New Zealand. But what era they come from, I wouldn’t know. Don’t get me started on rugby league vs rugby union. I have no idea what the difference is or who comes from what.

So, how on Earth do I find myself having to write about a rugby game in my little town?

Then again, this might be a good learning experience for me. It doesn’t have to be a commentary on the game itself, but obviously, it’s going to take a little bit of knowledge in order for it to make sense. Having said that, if what I’ve heard about the game is true, the home team has made a huge achievement. And they deserve to shout it from the rooftops, so to speak.

So, I may know little about rugby, but what I do know is the feeling of going after a goal and achieving that goal. I think that’s what I’ll be writing about.

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