“Writing is lonely, it is just you and a typewriter/computer/pen and paper and that is it. It is HARD” – Dan Lebatard, sports columnist for the Miami Hearld, and radio talk show host on Miami’s AM 790.
I have been given a lot of thought about this for a while partially because of my memories of writing when I was just a lowly journalism student to writing small press releases and speeches when I worked for a local Member of Provincial Parliament and here on this blog. I love the process of writing but I also makes me nervous because of lack of confidence with grammar and spelling. I also worry too much about composition but I still write because of the joy it brings me.
The other thing that has gotten me thinking is the level of writing in “popular media” mostly magazines like GQ, Esquire, Monocle, Men’s Health and others and an essay I stumbled across while on the web by Joan Didion in a June 1961 Vogue (http://profacero.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/joan-didion-on-self-respect/). The Didion essay was DENSE and unlike anything I have read in the magazines I read. It quoted Gone With The Wind, Great Gatsby, Appointment in Samara, and Weathering Hights. I had to re-read it a few times to try and understand it. The fact I had to tune out everything around me to read this article made me think could this be written in popular magazines/newspapers today? More importantly does the public want it?
Lately I have been moving away from magazines and newspapers to websites like longform.org, thebrowser.com, longreads.com which are more collections of features from today and yesteryear. I still like reading Newsweek, and short fluffy stories but just reading one article got me to think more than the topic of the article itself.