After a crazy and hectic week between semesters (during which I got what I hope to be my last non-writing job) and a slight lag in posting, today's post actually isn't part of the Look Like a Pro! series. We'll return to our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow. The incomparable Susan Johnston over at The Urban Muse tagged me for the latest meme - "What's your favorite type of writing?"
What's my favorite type of writing? One might just as well ask, "What is your favorite writing to read?" In fact, I'll just address both questions, since the answers are the same.
I can claim no undying love for one specific style of writing. There is no genre that I attack with any more zeal than another. I do focus far more on light journalism and magazine writing, but that's more for practical purposes than anything else. If anything, I'd have to say that my favorite style of writing is high quality, regardless of the genre.
I've written absolute dreck in more than one style, and I've read even more. The sad fact is that writers are human, which means that at any given moment we may be lazy, frustrated, uninspired, untalented, or otherwise imperfect. Everyone has off days, even the best writers. For this reason, it is all the more magical to really be on, to deliver something great.
Great writing is far more than simple words. It has life to it, substance that extends beyond paper and ink. All writing communicates something, but the best of it has power. That's what I love, both to read and to write. Do I actually write that way? Probably not. I'm always learning more about the craft, improving my skills and as I do so, I look back at what I've done before and wonder "What was I thinking?"
And so, my own writing aspires to be my favorite writing. My favorite reading shows me just how marvelous my writing could be. The best stuff pops and sizzles, filling your mind with excitement the way a handful of Pop Rocks shows your mouth what it means to be alive. It's the mental equivalent of the tender steak, the hot shower, the runner's high or the first kiss. Great writing engages the reader and changes them forever.
Perhaps a piece will only allow the reader a few moments free of worry or stress, a brief escape from the dreary world. Perhaps the reader experiences the irreparable stretching of the mind that a powerful concept brings, forever changing how the world is seen. Either way, that single quality piece of writing is what all writing should be - a vibrant, expansive experience that goes far beyond the reading of words.
Tag, you're it!
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