May 12, 2003

MARK STEYN on writing: In

MARK STEYN on writing:

In my small town in New Hampshire, most of the local history was compiled and written down by various octogenarian ladies. What I find interesting is how vividly these widows and spinsters write, even though most of them left school at 14, if that. But you read their accounts of their great-great-grandfather's adventures in the Revolutionary War and it's full of wit, insight, imagery. Anyone can write - anyone with an interest in words and an engagement with the world they live in. Writing isn't a profession like medicine or accountancy, and pretending it is - as North America's journalism-school culture does - is worse than a harmless affectation, it's actually an obstacle to good readable writing.

He's right, as usual. My grandmother - 92 in June - left school at about 14 and can write like a dream. Things would've turned out a lot worse if Jeparit had a journalism college back in 1923 ...

Posted by Tim Blair at May 12, 2003 04:33 PM