« loft bed | Main | choices »

January 21, 2006

blog tips for me

John Steinbeck

Good writing is not an easy thing - at least for me. Mathematicians are not known for their great prose. Ever read Mathematica Principia? If you ever have trouble sleeping, curl up in bed with that great masterpiece. Yeah, I know. It was not meant to be read for enjoyment by a layman. But a nice funny story here and there by the authors wouldn't hurt to liven it up a bit. No?

Since becoming an at-risk teacher three years ago, I have been obliged to teach other things like creative writing. I found I needed a lot of practice in the subject to hone my barely existent skills. I have a few authors that I use for guidance to help understand writing technique and style. My favorite is John Steinbeck followed closely by Earnest Hemingway. I also search the blogs for examples of good writing. I add them to my Blog Links as I find them. I started the following list of tips that I use when I write a post.

1. The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White: buy it, read it, do it.

2. Less is always more. Don't keep writing the same thing over and over.

3. Don't write a stream of consciousness. Don't write every little detail. Most readers like a little mystery.

4. Write as often as possible. The more you write, the easier it gets.

5. Never stop searching for examples of good writing. You will know it when you see it.

6.Last but certainly not least, don't write for your audience. Write what you enjoy and are passionate about and your audience will find you. If they don't right away, don't give up.

Posted by roadapples at January 21, 2006 08:12 AM

I have to work on not writing every detail and on my over-use of exclamation points!!!

Posted by: kenju at January 21, 2006 10:01 AM

Your "barely existent skills"?

Don't sell yourself short. Your touch with storytelling is an example of the best kind. You're students should consider themselves among the luckier ones.

Posted by: Jennifer at January 21, 2006 10:57 AM

Judy: I never noticed you used too many exclamation points???????????

Jen: I am blushing and I have a grin that won't go away. Thank you for the complement.

Posted by: road apples [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 21, 2006 11:57 AM

Improving my writing is one thing I listed in my professional development plan for relicensing last summer.

Really, don't sell your prose short. You have a good thing going here.

Your style reminds me of Donald M. Murray.

Keep on blogging!

Posted by: Euclid [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 22, 2006 05:48 PM

Content! Content! Content!

Posted by: Stu Savory at January 22, 2006 11:44 PM