Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tips For Anyone Who Writes A Regular Column

On the surface many writers may look at The Art of Column Writing:Insider Secrets from Art Buchwald, Dave Barry, Arianna Huffington, Pete Hamill and Other Great Columnists and wonder why they should read it. Immediately they will eliminate themselves because they don't write a newspaper or magazine column. Yet I believe the information in this book is much more applicable to a broader audience. If you blog on a regular basis, then in the broadest possible sense, you are a regular columnist and can profit from the skills and tips in this book. Newspaper columnists have an admitted challenge to draw their readers into their work and compel them to read their writing. If you write a column for a newspaper or a magazine on a regular basis, get this book. It’s excellent and packed with wisdom from many different well-known writers.

These columnists have drawn a consistent readership and any writer can profit from the study of this book. Why? Whether you have a growing readership in your blog or a column for a magazine or a regular spot in a local newspaper, you have to draw on the tips and techniques in this title. I liked what author Suzette Martinez Standring wrote in the Introduction: the Quest for a Column saying, “It is better to ask, ‘How can I make my work worth of being published?’ Let’s take a moment to deconstruct a newspaper column. It compels or captivates with a tale, a message, or a persuasive argument. Jam-pack those thoughts into, say, 600 select words. Create an engaging start, an informative middle, and ideally, a surprise ending, all written in a voice so signature any reader could identify the columnist even without a byline. ‘What we do is more like a short story,’ said legendary metro columnist Pete Hamill during a 2005 NSNC (National Society of Newspaper Columnists) meeting in Texas. Time, talent, and practice are required to do condensed writing well.” (page 11)

EVERY WRITER can profit from reading The Art of Column Writing because the universal nature of the skill of column writing.

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4 Comment:

At 6:37 AM, Blogger Brenda Left a note...

Thanks for the book suggestion. I do write a weekly column for a NASCAR website. I've learned through writing and seeing what people read and respond to but I definitely will get this book.

At 4:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous Left a note...

Nice blog, Matt. Found you thru your twitter follow request. I'm an author and blogger also. Literary agent, eh? Do stay in touch. I have 3 WIP'd for 2009.

Marvin blogs at Free Spirit: http://inspiritandtruths.blogspot.com/
Eye Twitter 2 - http://twitter.com/Paize_Fiddler

At 2:45 PM, Blogger Rhodester Left a note...

Did someone say Dave Barry? I LOVE Dave Barry! If I were a woman - and single - and really hard up - and lived in Florida - I'd want to have his kids!

Now, don't get any ideas from that. I'm not any of those and I don't really want kids. I just like Dave. His stuff, I mean. I'll probably get that book.

Okay then.

At 12:44 PM, Blogger Renae Left a note...

Thanks, Terry! I can't wait to read this.


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