Thursday, January 20, 2005

Writing Tips

A writer once observed that some people just like to attend writing classes; they don't necessarily want to write. I feel that way sometimes, like after I come out of a great writing class, have read something really inspirational, or read a published work that makes me jealously think I could have done better. Finding the motivation to write is a difficult proposition. Established writers almost always suggest that a better strategy is to set a writing schedule and apply oneself to writing as if it were a regular job.

Tonight I had my first class of second semester. The class is Long-Form Nonfiction, taught by Ron Rosenbaum, who writes a column titled "The Edgy Enthusiast" for the New York Observer among other credentials. He had a lot to share with the class, suggestions for how to be a good writer. Here are some:

  • Keep a journal and always carry it around with you.
  • The key to writing is getting out that bad first draft.
  • Writing in longhand (as opposed to starting on a computer) can help you get out that bad first draft.
  • Read everything. Watch (some) TV so you can stay on top of the cultural conversation.

    During class I felt really fired up to write. I see long-form nonfiction as my style, more so than the pyramid. It's why I got into journalism in the first place, and I'm hoping this class will give me a chance to put out something noteworthy.

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