On most Fridays, Evan Peterson rounds up five stories from across the Web that scribes of all stripes should check out.
This week, a blog editor explains why it’s the best time to be a writer and a reader. (Hint: It has something to do with the Internet.)
Plus, what’s the difference between a content provider and a thought leader?
The best writing is on the Internet:
We're in a golden age for readers, according to Robert Cottrell, editor of The Browser
blog, where he gathers some of the best writing online. The Internet has opened up sources of good writing we would never have known about—or would not have existed—in another era. Cottrell provides a solid appraisal in this piece of what makes a good blog and good blogger. And like writing in any era, he argues that what matters most is the writer: “Good writers write good pieces, regardless of subject and regardless of publication. Mediocre writers write mediocre pieces. And nothing at all can rescue a bad writer."
Writing advice of the week:
Ann Patchet, one of Time
’s 100 most influential people, has a lot of advice for writers, which writer and critic Maria Popova shared on her Explore
, by the way, contains a weekly post on writing advice—many of which are worth checking out.) One of my favorites tips from Patchet: “No one should ever go into debt to study creative writing.”
About those "thought leaders":
If you're a corporate or agency writer, you may consider yourself a thought leader. What makes a thought leader? What distinguishes that person from a content provider? And does it matter? Leslie Gaines Ross, Weber Shandwick's chief reputation strategist, examines these questions.
Fiction writers, What if you were offered a seven-figure advance for your first book? And speechwriters, what if that book was inspired by something you wrote? That's the case for Erika Johansen, who received the advance for a series of books she says a Barack Obama speech inspired. If you're a speechwriter, it may not be a bad career goal to inspire someone to write a book, though it probably matters who is delivering the line.
Is "that" necessary in speaking? Is it necessary in writing? As in, “The dentist believed that the patient should floss.” There are some good reminders in this article no matter which side you're on. The Associated Press's rule seems to make sense, "Omission can hurt, inclusion never does."
Evan Peterson is a writer based in Chicago, and the editor of OpenMarkets magazine at CME Group. He's on Twitter at @evanmpeterson.