Posts Tagged ‘writing’

“I Wanna be a Writer.”

Friday, June 6th, 2008


At least two or three times a month, someone will tell me she wants to be a writer (and yes, it’s usually a woman.)

“Great!” I say feigning enthusiasm. Silence – her turn to speak.

“Uhh, but how do I begin?”

“Now this is going to sound dumb,” I say, “but – you’ve got to write.”

She frowns. Then, “I write a lot of poetry.” Expectant look. My mind groans.

Me: “It really depends on why you want to write. Writing poetry is fine but there’s not a big market for it. Writing is good to organize your thoughts and express yourself – but it’s almost impossible to make a living at it.”

She: “Do you write everyday?”

Me: “Oh yeh – almost every day.”

She: “How do you sell it?”

Me: “Actually, I sell very little of it. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to get a client who needs a speech or article but mostly, I write because I love it. I write in a blog almost every day, I write in a political forum three or four times a week, and I write a lot of e-mails and sometimes letters. I just love to write.”

She: “Do you think you can help me get started?”

Me: “Of course. I’ll give you the same offer I’ve given to people for years: write three sentences a day and send them to me. I’ll read them and make constructive suggestions.”

She: “Just three sentences a day – on anything?”

Me: “Three sentences on anything you want – every day.”

She: “Wow. That’s pretty simple. I just might take you up on that.”

You’ve probably guessed the ending. Out of the dozens of people to whom I’ve made this offer, not one has ever sent me a sentence. Not one.


Really Lousy Writing.

Saturday, January 19th, 2008



Every year, English teachers from across the country submit examples of their students’ WORST writing. They’re truly amazing. Between laughs, please remember: in just a few years, these dunces will be voting. And each of their votes will count as much as yours.

1. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

2. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

3. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

4. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

5. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

6. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

7. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

8. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

9. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

10. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.