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September 26, 2005

The AP Guide to News Writing, Ch 1

I find this guide to be very helpful in helping me recognize the ways in which writing for the news differs from writing for just about any other purpose. And this chapter points out something that I know will be a challenge for me. Keeping things consise is certainly not something I have ever been good at, when I write, or when I speak. Actually, I have never really been good at being particularly clear either. I always talk around my point before getting to it. I only wish there was some surefire way of fixing it more instantly than just through practice. But, as the chapter quotes Somerset Maugham saying "'To write well is as difficult as being good.'" Although, to me being good isn't really that hard. I think for me a better analogy would be "to write well is as difficult as not procrastinating." How do people really get around obstacles like that? It seems like both are impossibly out of reach for me. Of course, an attitude like that doesnít really help Iím sure.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at September 26, 2005 6:37 PM


Lorin - you are always insightful in class; this newswriting business will come - give it time!

Posted by: Katie Aikins at September 27, 2005 12:24 AM

Great Maugham remix.

Writing is a skill that you can only improve through practice. You might try a few small steps, such as when you're about to post a comment on a blog, edit it down to half the size.

For instance, I originally started this comment with "I enjoyed reading your re-interpretation of Maugham's quote." I considered "Your Maugham remix rocks," but thought that was too informal."

Your awareness of areas where your writing could improve suggests you're already on the road to thinking of editing and revising as something that you do constantly, for your own purposes, rather than for the sake of a grade. It's a challenging road, but I think you'll see the effort will be worth it.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at September 27, 2005 12:11 PM

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