Some Wonderful Words
Last Saturday, Gina Catanzarite, with the help of Luminari, put on the Teen Writer! Workshop. I attended the workshop and helped Gina with a few things. It was truly a great time. There were some great conversations flowing and some wonderful words being written. Students were able to help one another with different types of writing. Gina focused mostly on reviews and blogging, and I think the students really enjoyed the experience.
The next Teen Writer! Camp is July 9-July 11. This one will focus on creative writing. To sign up, go to Luminari’s website!
Ira Glass has some great advice about creativity. Absolutely applicable to journalism and especially relevant after our Teen Writer! workshop on Saturday….
“Nobody tells people who are beginners, and I really wish somebody had told this to me, is that all of us who do creative work… that there’s a gap. That for the first couple years that you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t so good? OK? It’s trying to be good. It has ambition to be good, but it’s not quite that good. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, your taste is still killer.” — Ira Glass, host, This American Life
A Broke Student’s Guide
Because our Teen Writer! workshop is this Saturday, I’ve decided to focus this Broke Guide on something you all can do at home, rather than something that involves going out.
I know all of you writers must have a favorite book, so my suggestion to you is to stay in on a cold, blistering evening and read. Make yourself some hot chocolate, grab a blanket, curl up and relax.
My book of choice is always Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I am obsessed! I’ve read it 7 times, and I would read it 7 more in a heartbeat. Nights like this can be really nice, especially after a crazy week. Also, this suggestion costs you NOTHING! How great is that? I hope you all take my advice, and enjoy your evening of relaxation.
Oh, and don’t forget to let me know your book of choice!
1. They take souvenirs of Important Evenings for their “mother.” This is like taking leftovers home for the “dog.” Of course, some mothers do get the souvenirs and some dogs do get the scraps. However, it is not likely.
2. If they find a copy of Richard Yates’s Eleven Kinds of Loneliness, they buy it. It is as if they’ve found a baby on the front step. They peek inside, examine the dog-earing, the marginal scribbles. Or perhaps it’s a clean copy, which carries its own kind of sadness. In either case, they embrace it, though they already have multiple copies. Those are irrelevant to the one they would be abandoning if they left the book behind. This is a hostess gift you can give any fiction writer, guaranteed to delight her even though she already has it. Regifting becomes an act of spreading civilization.
3. It makes the writer’s day if he or she can include the opinions of a truly stupid character or text in the story, punctuating those announcements with exclamation points, which are the icing on the cake. This situation is to be found in novels, too, but novelists are less likely to be immensely flattered if you have noticed their needle in the haystack(!). For particularly adept and judicious uses of the exclamation point, see the works of Joy Williams and Deborah Eisenberg.
4. Without these things, many contemporary American short stories would grind to a halt: fluorescent lights; refrigerators; mantels. They are its gods, or false gods. In that it is difficult to know Him, these stand-ins are often misspelled.
5. Poets go to bed earliest, followed by short story writers, then novelists. The habits of playwrights are unknown.
6. Writers are very particular about their writing materials. Even if they work on a computer, they edit with a particular pen (in my case, a pen imprinted “Bob Adelman”); they have legal pads about which they are very particular—size, color—and other things on their desk that they almost never need: scissors; Scotch tape. Few cut up their manuscripts and crawl around the floor anymore, refitting the paragraphs or rearranging chapters, because they can “cut” and “paste” on the computer. As a rule, writers keep either a very clean desktop or a messy one. To some extent, this has to do with whether they’re sentimental.
7. Writers wear atrocious clothes when writing. So terrible that I have been asked, by the UPS man, “Are you all right?” An example: stretched-out pajama bottoms imprinted with cowboys on bucking broncos, paired with my husband’s red thermal undershirt (no guilt; he wouldn’t even wear such a thing in Alaska) and a vest leaking tufts of down, with a broken zipper and a rhinestone pin in the shape of pouting lips. Furry socks with embossed Minnie Mouse faces (the eyes having deteriorated in the wash) that clash with all of the above.
via The New Yorker
In honor of our Teen Writer! workshop coming up on Saturday, I wanted to blog about, none other than — writing!
Because I am a journalism major, I write A LOT. Aside from this blog, I write for three other sites. I have learned so much about writing through all of my blogging experience. Being a good blogger is an important aspect of becoming a better writer. From all of my blogs, I have been able to see what people like to read, what they like to see, and some things that don’t interest them quite as much. I can use all of these things I’ve learned from blogging when I write articles for classes and newspapers.
If any of you are writers, you know how overwhelming life can be sometimes. When I have three articles, four blogs and a press release due all on the same week, my life gets a little scary. But I’ve noticed as I get older, and as I become a better writer, deadlines and work overload weeks get easier.
One of the biggest things I would stress to aspiring writers is to never stop writing for fun. While I love writing articles, and I love writing my professional blogs, I still need a place to ramble and write what I feel. This is why I have my own personal blog, and I also keep a journal. These two outlets keep me sane!
Thanks for reading! See you at the Teen Writer! workshop on Saturday!
Check out my other blogs:
Learning to Drive at Night:
As a young writer, I was always inspired by this quote from the great writer E.L. Doctorow:
Writing is like driving at night. You can only see as far as the headlights but you can make the whole trip
It motivated me to keep moving forward on that road, no matter how hard it got, so I could fulfill my dream of becoming a professional writer.
My mission now is to help today’s teens take positive and productive steps to turn their own dreams into reality. TeenWriter! is designed especially for young writers and I want them to leave these workshops feeling inspired and prepared to share their perspectives, their creativity, and their art with the world.
Read more on Teen Writer! →