On Writing

by Mike Shea on 29 August 2002

One of the only hobbies I have that wouldn't result in a swirly in any normal high school is writing. I don't have any illusions about any future career or even making a dime for a written word of mine, but the subject of writing is one that always interests me. I have a number of websites I am keeping up to date with newer articles, reviews, and stories including this one, LoralCiriclight.com and Liquidtheater.com.

Following the rule that the best way to learn to write is to write all the time, I try my best to put up new stuff every week. Most of it is crap, but some of it I actually am proud of.I just received Stephen King's : A Memoir of the Craft. Half autobiography and half text book, he still manages to make you scream out loud in some parts and laugh yourself silly in others. From the moment I opened the front I had read 55 pages without blinking and honestly had to pull myself away to stop. It's a great read.

If someone were interested in writing, all the great authors point towards Strunk and White's Elements of Style (Elements of Style on the web). I get strange looks at work for carrying this one around with me all the time and constantly quoting it at people like a disaster nut quotes biblical passages. Everyone who mentions it mentions the one great rule of writing: "Omit Needless Words". We'd all do a little better to take what we've ever written and cut 50% out.The written word may be the most powerful tool we have available to us. This wacky web shit will come and go but our ability to communicate is our strongest and some times most dangerous ability. My greatest hope is to strengthen it every day. If only I had paid attention in high school.