Top 3 column writing tips by Martin Kelner, The Guardian

I did something very unusual yesterday. I read the Guardian’s sports supplement. Given that I don’t really follow sport and am suffering from a touch of Guardian fatigue, I was surprised to find myself reading the discarded sports section I’d found on the train (see, I’m not the only one) for a full 10 minutes.

Why? Because of Martin Kelner and his column Screen Break, which picks apart the best (and mostly worst) sports coverage and related programming on TV.

Forgive me if I’m in a honeymoon period, but yesterday’s piece on body builders was one of the best columns I’d read in a long time.

So, in the same vein as my recent posts about Andrew Marr, I decided to email Martin and ask him how to write a good column.

Today, Martin kindly emailed me back with the following simple tips:

1. Always be thinking of ideas. Carry a fully functioning pen and pocket sized pad at all times ready to jot down notes…

2. Try for neatness in ending, if at all possible referring back to opening or other motif in the column..

3. Don’t forget rule 1.

Number 2 is a top tip – thanks Martin.