Staying Home

When I took creative writing back in the 80s at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, there was a woman in my class who got all her ideas for articles from our local library. She researched such people as George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak and wrote an article about him. She checked the dates for the tenth or twenty-fifth anniversary of famous stories and wrote articles for local papers recalling the events. If she had a story that related to the Great Lakes, she would send the article not only to the Milwaukee papers but to the Toronto Star, the Buffalo Evening News, and other papers along the Great Lakes.

Here was the story of a woman who never left her own community, but did well selling her non-fiction articles. She worked hard on her writing, going over it and over it, making the subject come alive. Sometimes we think we have to be like Hemingway, traveling the world and going on safaris to succeed. No, we just have to write well.

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6 responses to “Staying Home

  1. Tough gig though, hack writing. Making it come alive isn’t that difficult with the proper measure of craftsmanship, self-editing, brutal cutting and rewriting, then more self-editing. What’s difficult over the long haul is a lot more subtle, the ‘write for the reader’, ‘write for the editor’ slanting required and controlling the damage it performs on the soul.

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