My writing wisdom featured in new documentary (Obviously it’s a short)

Alan King
Writer, blogger and filmmaker Alan W. King
Several weeks ago, blogger and filmmaker Alan W. King of Humble Bear Production contacted me about working together on a documentary featuring the writing process. After discussing the insights I’ve gained from 16 years as a humor columnist, he suggested that a “mini” documentary could probably capture all of my writing wisdom.

So over the last week, Alan has been editing my rambling answers to his questions β€” on everything from how I got started as a columnist, to what happens when a column doesn’t resonate with readers β€” into a 10-minute documentary.

To be honest, considering what he had to work with, I anticipated something which, at best, could be heralded by critics as:

“Wildly Cohesive!”
“Thoroughly Visual!”
“Masterfully hyperlinked!”

Instead, Alan has created a thoughtful and entertaining glimpse into my writing process that demonstrates how, in the hands of someone with his talent and creativity, something mediocre can be transformed into a memorable and inspiring piece. It was a true privilege being a part of this collaboration, which has left me appreciative and deeply humbled.

Thank you, Alan.

So, lower the lights, grab some popcorn and sit back while I plug in the projector. Sorry we’re out of Raisinettes…


(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, or Barnes & Noble.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

42 thoughts on “My writing wisdom featured in new documentary (Obviously it’s a short)”

  1. Hey Ned, again, it was fun. And, FYI, nothing mediocre about your skills. There’s a reason why “award-winning” comes before syndicated columnist πŸ˜‰ Thanks again for engaging a curiosity I’ve had not only of what it’s like to be “Freshly Pressed,” but also to see how a video version of your profile would come out. Thanks also for the encouraging words.

    1. Thanks, Alan β€” It was a real pleasure. I’ll collaborate with you any time. I’m looking forward to seeing what Humble Bear Production creates in the future.

      1. Me, too πŸ™‚ I’m going to redo the Humble Bear page and add some more videos I’ve been working on for class. I have a promo video for Humble Bear, which we shot with green screen. (My classmates and I had to come up with a business, logo and a list of services we offer.)

        I also have a promo for the community college’s videography program. (That was such a slick way for our teacher to get free promotion from us by making it an assignment.)

        I look forward to seeing how your blog evolves.

        1. Ha! Your teacher sounds shrewd! I’ll definitely be looking for more clips on your Humble Bear page. If I’m every in Baltimore, I owe you and your wife dinner and a beer.

              1. Funny because I do. I’ve worked there, and while the city has a lot of history, it’s one of the most depressing places to be – especially east Baltimore. But that’s due to the injustices that’s been simmering long before the riots.

                1. I’ve only been there once, many years ago, and although it was only for a few hours I felt drained just being there. A gloomy aura. I thought it was just me not liking the Ravens.

    1. You’re more than welcome, Matt. I realize I have shattered my blogger image of being super cool, mysterious and universally sexy, but I was tired of living a lie…

      Seriously though, thanks for watching. And yeah, Alan’s got skills πŸ˜‰

      1. I’m always fascinated to see not just how, but where, other people do their work. I love that you, the newspaper, and Alan all invested the effort to give us a glimpse.

        Good times. Have a great weekend, Ned.

        You’ll have to get dressed in a little less than three hours.

    2. Thanks, Matt. Your first sentence says it all (“This was a lot of fun”). Ned and I had a lot of fun with this. I’m glad Ned trusted me to get a look “behind the curtain.” (I know, Ned, I opened the door for whatever response you have coming ;))

  2. Loved the documentary! Now I feel really wise.. πŸ™‚ But seriously, it is cool how long you’ve been writing your humor column!
    Not sure what cature is…Capture? You can delete this line after you fix the typo.

  3. I loved this. I even waited until I got home and had a glass of wine….just in case you bombed!! This just makes me respect your talents even more and hope that one day we will meet face to face (I’ll have Justin Bieber gagged in a potato sack for you) πŸ™‚

  4. Okay, I have SO many questions!

    1) How did you play the instrumental background? I never once saw your hands move!
    2) Was Spiderman feeding you lines or giving birth?
    3) Did you steal my Thor hammer?
    4) Could you please give me the phonetic spelling of Suislaw? You say it way different than it sounds.
    5) Were you naked when you read my piece yesterday?
    6) How did I end up with such an awesome and talented friend? You rock!!

    I’d be lying if I said I don’t care about being Freshly Pressed some day, but you have taught me so many things – the most important being to write from my heart in a way that’s authentic and true to myself. It’s what you do every day (funny or serious) and it’s worked out for you. Good things to good people.
    Fabulous, Ned and Alan. I loved this!

    1. And you deserve answers, Michelle:
      1) Notice that you never saw my feet…
      2) What Spider-Man???
      3) Yes, I did steal it. And I’ve been working out.
      4) Siuslaw is pronounced “Sigh-you-slaw.” Although most people say “Soo-eee-slaw” like they are calling pigs
      5) I was sitting in the coffee room. So yes, I was naked. I also got all the coffee to myself.
      6) You’re just saying that because you don’t want me to show up naked asking for coffee.

      And thanks, Michelle. For you to have written any other way than from the heart would’ve been a shame β€” your heart has so much to say πŸ˜‰

  5. I’m very disturbed about two things…The lack of Raisinettes and the mention of fruit cake. How much can one person take?!

  6. Great video – kudos to both the subject and the filmmaker. You’ve got a column, blog, podcast and now a movie. All you need is Ned’s Smoke Signals and you’ll have all possible communication bases covered.

    Only thing is, I didn’t hear an answer to the question, “what happens when a column doesn’t resonate with readers?” Perhaps because that has never happened…?

    1. Oh, it’s happened! I have the letters/notes on the newsroom wall to prove it! I save them as a reminder to be sensitive β€” and always check the underbelly of my car before leaving work… πŸ˜‰

      1. My humor column ran in yesterday’s paper and someone called to say how much they liked it. I was still basking in that glow 2 hours later when another reader told me the piece was pretty good, once I got going about 1/3 of the way in. The person offering this backhanded criticism was a “guest” at the homeless shelter where I volunteer.

        Life has an infinite number of ways to keep one humble, hmm?

    2. And thanks, by the way Peg. It was a real blast and I owe Alan all the credit for making it entertaining. I’m not sure he can help with the smoke signals, though.

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