This week, some tips on tying your writing to the Olympics, a writer opens for a rock band, a media manipulator fools bloggers, and how kids today should learn writing. It’s the Week in Writing:
The power and glory of sportswriting.
No matter where you work or what topics you cover, there's a chance you're looking to write something that connects your company or client to the Olympics. It's a subject with a short shelf life bathed in search engine optimization friendliness. With that in mind, it's worth reading this piece from a former Sports Illustrated
writer on how to write about sports. He provides a dissection of the challenges (you're writing about something where the end is known) and what makes it fun (it's real, live drama; truth is more exciting than fiction). Read the story here
Writers touring with rock bands?
You've heard of journalists touring with rock bands to report on the band—or at least seen a movie about it
. But writers opening for a band? Yep. It's happening. Novelist Emma Straub will be opening
this fall for The Magnetic Fields by reading from her debut novel. It sounds terrifying, but probably not bad marketing for a first-time novelist. Read about it here
Don't be fooled.
If you're a blogger, you've got deadlines to meet, either real or self-imposed. That can be stressful, and the hours that your blog lies dormant can seem like days. Good sources help move things along, but for heaven's sake, Google them first. That's one lesson that a few bloggers didn't follow when they talked to Ryan Holiday, a self-described media manipulator. It's even more surprising that these bloggers and reporters were at ABC News, CBS, MSNBC and The New York Times
. Read the story here
The art of sharing skills.
In The Huffington Post
, Michael Drew writes about one of his writing heroes, Frank Pierson, the screenwriter behind “Cool Hand Luke” and “Dog Day Afternoon,” who died recently. Drew explains that Pierson wrote characters well because he wrote the psychology of a character, not the actions. He knew the motivations for anything they did. Best of all, Pierson shared what he knew of the trade with young writers. Read the story here
One on one editing.
The best way to learn writing varies from person to person, but a lot of folks for a lot of different reasons believe today’s schools fail at teaching kids to write. Jay Matthews of The Washington Post
is one of them. In this piece, he lays out his case for more one on one editing between student and teacher, and more reading of good writing for students. This is not the first time these remedies have been proposed, but Matthews went to the trouble of breaking down the plan by minutes of class time theoretically spent on each activity. Read more here
You're a professional writer. How did you learn to write as a kid?
Evan Peterson is a writer based in Chicago, and the editor of OpenMarkets magazine at CME Group. He's on Twitter at @evanmpeterson.