No, this article isn’t about the Civil War. Hang in there. The purpose of this photo specifically for this article will become clearer if you read more than the first three grafs. Photo by Scott Umstattd on Unsplash


Georgia NeSmith
4 min readJul 21, 2021


In response to: This untitled piece by

QUOTE: During the past 30 minutes, I’ve stopped reading several articles within two paragraphs. Let me tell you why. It’s because they are written in a creative non-fiction style, and if there is anything that irritates the hell out of me, it’s a piece with an intriguing headline that doesn’t capture what is written about in the first paragraph.

— Tessa Schleshinger

Say what?

Who told you that Medium is ONLY supposed to be about “news”?

And in particular, that it’s only supposed to be “facts.” No emotion. No lyrical quotes, no reflection on “the facts,” no spillage of human emotions whatsoever.

If I want news I’ll go to the publications where the reporters have actually been TRAINED as journalists.

Me, I want to read a story that ISN’T written in inverted pyramid style. I know how to do it — I freaking TAUGHT it for many years. It has a purpose.

But personally, I HATE IT.

I mean, of course it’s great for finding what happened today that is noteworthy. But it pretty much misses everything that matters to me. In particular, it skips over all that mushy stuff about human beings that are the very things that make them human. That helps readers grasp the purpose of the story. It tells us about who the people are as human beings, and with the best writers, the people come alive on the page. It helps us know what motivates them, what they hope for their futures. Or perhaps they’re not hoping at all because they’ve lost faith anything will get any better.

Their stories should help us connect with their humanity. The help us know them in some immediate way that touches our hearts…or perhaps angers us. These stories can help build connections among strangers, give us all a better picture of who we are.

It’s about connecting people to people. Yes, of course, sometimes I only want information. But I also want to read terrific writers who know how to tell STORIES and make the people in them come alive to us.

STORIES connect us with human beings in ways that inverted pyramid articles can never do. They help…



Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.