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Writing

August 21, 2012

Happy Tuesday, dear readers! I hope you are well and are enjoying the last bits of summer. One of the local high schools in my area is already back in session, which makes my morning commute rather interesting. But today, instead of focusing on that, let’s talk about writing.

Writing has, perhaps obviously, been on my mind a lot recently. Now that I’m done with my dissertation, I’m working on a number of articles with various supervisors and other colleagues. So no break from writing for me. Luckily, for the most part, I like writing and I really like getting my ideas and research across clearly to others. That’s probably why I like teaching, too. But what has really fascinated me, both in writing articles and writing in the dissertation process, is how differently everyone writes and what is considered “good” writing.

I’ve really enjoyed this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, Becoming a Stylish Writer, because it discusses many of the issues I’ve encountered while writing, editing, and revising. I think we should all agree to write more clearly, just say no to convoluted work, and write so that it is a pleasure to read, not a task to endure. I’m in agreement that convoluted, dense writing does not make for a joyful reading experience, nor does it mean that the writer is more intelligent or smarter necessarily.

I know it is a very old piece of advice, but I still like it: Write like you talk or like you think. I just have a conversation with an imagined reader when I’m writing an article, or presentation, or class lecture, and try to be as engaging as possible. Let your passion show through your work. It makes for better reading.

While this article isn’t about writing, it is about communication: a better way to ask for career advice. Share widely and help out yourself and your friends/family members/patrons. This article has fantastic advice and, as someone who talks a lot with graduate students, I can attest that using this advice makes for a much more satisfying and productive informational interview experience.

Also, since hacked accounts have been in the news recently, I had to share Should I Change My Password? Use the site to check if your password has been compromised. Great service.

I hope you have a fantastic day, dear readers. Write something, create something, cook something, and have a relaxing time. I’ll be back soon with more thoughts about libraries, archives, technology, and life. Allons-y!

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