Be interesting and be interested.
Last Friday, an English professor from UCLA came to speak with our writing class about writing. She spoke about why we write, what we write for, and shared many useful tips and insight to help one’s writing process.
What I took away from her talk with us are the following points:
- Be careful with being a perfectionist when it comes to writing, because this often prevents the writing process
- When selling a pitch to someone who can potentially hire you to write for him or her, submit your pitch in the appropriate writing style.
- Learn WordPress–BLOG!
- Know your readers and know how you influence them
- Be interesting and be interested.
That last point stuck with me. “Be interesting and be interested.” She mentioned that to write, these are important and basically essential if you want to be a successful writer. By reading interesting internet web sites (like BuzzFeed), and just being with interesting and talking with interesting individuals will help shape your writing and the things you write about. This point raises my awareness of what I read on the internet now and helps me to steer towards the type of writing I want to emulate and appreciate.
Dr. Mesle writes for the LA book review and has created her own site that reinvents the book review.
It was during the afternoon when she had come out to rollerblade. I strapped on my rollerblades and went outside to join her. I liked her. She was my childhood crush. We were rollerblading around the cul-de-sac where we lived. I would go down these “ramps,” which were actually the driveways of our neighbors. She would join me. I hope I didn’t annoy my neighbors when we’d blade down their driveways, but perhaps we did. I sometimes saw their window blinds move as if they were checking to see that we weren’t vandals. I rolled down this slopier ramp and tripped on a crack in the sidewalk. I don’t remember what happened afterwards. I woke up in my living room sofa and I cried and screamed in pain immediately. I had broken my right arm. I was told that Mr. Lawnee, our African-American neighbor who had lived two houses away, had saw me on the ground in front of his house and carried me to the place where I was when I woke up. That was kind of him. I never did say thank you. I kept crying and screaming in excruciating pain until I fell asleep, at which point I didn’t feel anymore pain, and so I slept. I would get a cast the next day, which I had all my friends sign, including the girl who I had a crush on and rollerbladed with me.
My usage of voice in telling about this incident was used with the audience in mind–my classmates, specifically readers who I interacted with for the past few weeks but don’t really know on a personal level. I tried telling the story with this in mind, creating a voice that was both formal and casual. In terms of footing and positioning, I created a close physical space and familiar social standing, so as to include the reader in closely observing what I had experienced.