Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pieces on Becoming a Writer

One thing terribly fascinating to me is how someone became a writer... this being why I was so riveted by the J.R. Moehringer memoir The Tender Bar (which I reviewed here). Recently I've come across a few interesting pieces that traffic in this topic.

I've posted on Moehringer a few times now and maybe a month ago received an e-mail from someone good enough to give me links to a bunch of us work I hadn't seen before.

As part of this collection, I enjoyed quite a bit his 2007 Denver Magazine feature "Ballad for a Plain Man" on singer/songwriter Jeff Finlin, but was most struck by a shorter Moehringer piece about him at the Denver Rocky Mountain News. Titled "Yesterday's News", it's interesting and personal writing about becoming a writer... practically picking up right where The Tender Bar left as an a writing memoir.


Some more recent stuff on becoming a writer came courtesy of a "Q&A with Kevin Van Valkenburg" on the the I Hate JJ Redick blog covering Baltimore sports. Van Valkenburg writes for the Baltimore Sun and I've enjoyed his work since learning about it from a Chris Jones blog post and now following him on Twitter. The first question posed to him is how he became a writer and got to his current job and maybe it's just me, but it was terribly interesting reading the answer provided.


Final piece lately around becoming a writer isn't so much on one person's path, but rather around a genre of writing. From an issue of Time Magazine a few weeks ago came a piece by Lev Grossman on Fan Fiction titled "The Boy Who Lived Forever".

Fan fiction is the concept of writing story extensions for one's own amusement (many posted to the site FanFiction.Net) and while there may be more unpaid stories on Harry Potter than any other character or series, it could be done for the work of virtually any author.

Interesting genre of writing that I hadn't heard about before, but makes sense as people are simply doing something they enjoy based on... yep, something they enjoy. As someone who loves both reading and (hopefully) producing good writing, it's fascinating this whole culture of both paid and unpaid work out there.