Dispatches from Quarantine: Notes from an Unknown Island by Elizabeth Durham

2020-08-07T08:22:58-04:00

Dispatches from Quarantine Notes from an Unknown Island by Elizabeth Durham In the early days of the pandemic, I was inundated with messages about writing. Some of them were directly addressed to me, like invitations from various sectors of the University to join writing groups, or emails from academic journals calling for real-time analysis of the events unfolding so rapidly around us, all of us, around the world. Other messages were indirect, floating in our cultural midst, like a vague sense I should be keeping a diary of this moment or emailing far-flung family and friends, just to check in, or [...]

Dispatches from Quarantine: Notes from an Unknown Island by Elizabeth Durham2020-08-07T08:22:58-04:00

Dispatches from Quarantine, Part 1 by Cate Mahoney

2020-03-30T14:44:03-04:00

Dispatches from Quarantine, Part 1 by Cate Mahoney Hi, all! I truly hope this finds you and your loved ones in good health. Time seems to blur these days as we stay inside to flatten the curve of COVID-19. There has been a lot of talk across social media about writing in this time of crisis. You’ve heard of Love in the Time of Cholera? Who’s writing Love in the Time of Corona? (Ouch.) Many people are saying something along the lines of: "Well, you’re stuck inside, so use this time to be ultra-productive! There is simply no better time to write than [...]

Dispatches from Quarantine, Part 1 by Cate Mahoney2020-03-30T14:44:03-04:00

Writing at Its Best by Katherine Clifton

2020-03-20T12:07:07-04:00

Writing at Its Best by Katherine Clifton In this, the latest post in our series of reflections on the nature of "good writing," Katherine Clifton captures the cheer and comfort to be found in the utterance and performance of even simple words, especially in times of trial. Katherine, a member of the Class of 2015, coordinates the Religion and Forced Migration Initiative in the Office of Religious Life.    Thumped and bumped Groaned and moaned Thrashed and crashed   What do these words have in common? They rhyme. Dr. Seuss features them in Big Dog Little Dog. Two of Princeton’s newcomers [...]

Writing at Its Best by Katherine Clifton2020-03-20T12:07:07-04:00

Writerly Challenges and How to Overcome Them by Cate Mahoney

2019-12-04T15:51:29-05:00

Writerly Challenges and How to Overcome Them by Cate Mahoney I am a writer, and I’ve been a writer since I was taught in fourth grade how to write a book of poetry (a big deal at any age, although my English teacher got the entire class to finish their books! I’m not sure how she did it -- probably magic). In this post, we will cover some of the challenges writers face and how we can overcome them. I am currently finishing my dissertation in English literature, so this post is for me as much as it is for [...]

Writerly Challenges and How to Overcome Them by Cate Mahoney 2019-12-04T15:51:29-05:00

Writing at Its Best by Maureen Riggi

2020-03-19T13:10:19-04:00

Writing at Its Best by Maureen Riggi This post continues our series of reflections on the nature of “good writing.” For Maureen Riggi, Forbes College's office coordinator, poetry at its best creates a connection with the reader. Poetry has a pretty imposing stigma. But really, how do you decide whether anything you encounter is “good”? It mostly boils down to opinion. You know what TV shows you think are good, what books you feel have literary merit, and what music you think is better than the rest. So why do people get tripped up on poetry? There seems to be a [...]

Writing at Its Best by Maureen Riggi2020-03-19T13:10:19-04:00

Writing at Its Best by Anne Merrill

2020-03-19T13:34:49-04:00

Writing at Its Best by Anne Merrill This post continues our series of reflections on the nature of “good writing.” For Anne Merrill '18, Princeton Writes'  Undergraduate Fellow, writing at its best transforms the way we experience the world and all the creatures in it. It happens all the time — I’ll be walking across a field on a misty morning, for example, carefully placing my feet to avoid stepping on worms, prompted by respect for these “lowly organised creatures.” Darwin’s words guide me, his assertions about earthworms are stored in my memory and spring to the surface on a rainy day. [...]

Writing at Its Best by Anne Merrill2020-03-19T13:34:49-04:00

Writing Resolutions

2020-01-10T11:37:05-05:00

Writing Resolutions So, the holiday decorations have been put away, diets have been started, and work has regained its rhythm, but what about your resolution to write every day? (And no, email doesn't count.) How’s that going? If it's not going exactly as planned, don’t despair. Keep trying anyway. You stand in a long line of famous writers who have resolved to write more and better in the new year, every year. It’s the resolution that counts, the desire to continue and to improve. The guilt of imperfectly adhering to your plan may bother you, but don’t let it sidetrack you. [...]

Writing Resolutions2020-01-10T11:37:05-05:00

Writing at Its Best

2020-01-14T13:58:33-05:00

Writing at Its Best by Laura Valenza This post continues our series of reflections on the nature of “good writing.” For Laura Valenza, Campus Collections Assistant at the Princeton University Art Museum, writing at its best requires the engagement of all the senses and a willingness to embrace the unexpected. A writer must also be an observer. Writing at its best expresses something universal and complex by showing a scene or just a moment that might otherwise have gone unobserved. Every tourist has certain obligatory photographs that must be taken of classic destinations such as the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel [...]

Writing at Its Best2020-01-14T13:58:33-05:00

Kurt Vonnegut on Creative Writing

2020-01-14T13:59:43-05:00

Kurt Vonnegut on Creative Writing Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., one of American literature's foremost satirists, published 14 novels between 1952 and 1997, including his most famous work, Slaughterhouse-Five. In his introduction to Bagombo Snuff Box, a collection of his early short fiction, he offered aspiring writers what he described as "Creative Writing 101" in the form of eight rules. Here they are: Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for. Every character should want something, [...]

Kurt Vonnegut on Creative Writing2020-01-14T13:59:43-05:00

Writing at Its Best

2020-01-14T14:18:05-05:00

Writing at Its Best by Thomas Garcia This is the second installment in our series of reflections on the nature of "good writing." For Thomas Garcia '16, Princeton Writes' Social Media Coordinator, writing at its best inspires, vexes, connects, and destabilizes – the four horsemen of the written word. Good writing inspires. When I picked up a tattered copy of The Sea-Wolf in the 7th grade, I did not expect the one-hundred-year-old words to give me chills. An abiding spirit was imbued in the sentence flow, the foundation of the plot, and the characters’ intricacies. This spirit epitomizes the immortal nature [...]

Writing at Its Best2020-01-14T14:18:05-05:00

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