Saturday, December 12, 2015

Writers on writing - with pieces by Saunders, Murakami, Jones, Van Valkenburg & Fagone

There's been a number of excellent pieces I've seen over the past couple of months around the craft of writing, including ones on becoming a writer, the process of creating, and how to pitch stories.

In terms of becoming a writer, there were two great pieces from The New Yorker I've seen recently, with George Saunders doing "My Writing Education: a Timeline" and Haruki Murakami from 2008 providing "The Running Novelist." Both are compelling first-person pieces about starting out in writing and Murakami's missive brought to mind his great memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, which I previously posted on.

The pieces about creating to note here were actually each transcripts of speeches given, with Chris Jones for the annual Power of Storytelling conference in Bucharest doing "Nine Rules for Creative Work" and Kevin Van Valkenburg providing "Why Storytelling Matters" from his role as a visiting professor at the University of Montana Journalism School. There's great material in each talk and Van Valkenburg's address carried the additional heft of also being about his late friend from school, Anthony Pollner.

Also on the craft of writing, specifically on how to have it be a viable work endeavor, was "How do you pitch a freelance story to a site or a magazine?" Written by Jason Fagone, it's a short and seemingly very solid guide from an excellent freelance writer.