The writing life

May 15, 2005

An essay in the NYTimes today, Blogging, as in Slogging, will certainly be a much-linked and -commented article in the blogosphere in the next few days, as it should be. It’s one of the few articles about blogging that approaches the activity as a serious effort on the part of a writer.

“To succeed in blogging you need to understand it’s a craft, with its own tricks of the trade.”

But the essay on the previous page, The Fine Art of Getting It Down on Paper, Fast, is the one in the one-two punch. Brent Staples writes about the lack of writing skills and writing instruction in American classrooms and companies:

“What we need now is a revolution in writing instruction, not just another test prep exercise.”

Amen to that. When I speak to groups about blogging, I argue that a blog is a writing tool, and should be used by more people to practice their writing. (Letter writing, as I posted Friday, is another.) My blog, The Coconut Wireless, has always been first and foremost a way for me to write, to practice wordcraft and to revel in what words can convey.

Perhaps I’ve encouraged you to practice your writing by becoming a blogger (you?). For anyone who wants to take me up on that advice, I’m organizing a Chapel Hill Blog Teach-in.

Write on, I say.

Anton Zuiker

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