Balancing a Day Job Writing with Your Creative Writing

24Jan14

Nicolle Elizabeth has a nice interview on The Believer blog with Summer Brennan, who writes for the U.N. I often wonder if working as a writer/editor is detracting from my creativity. For her, it’s not the case at all. Here’s an excerpt:

The thing that is not different in my writing across the board, be it political stuff, journalism or creative essays—and now, my first book!—is the cadence. The simple practice of turning ideas into sentences that are easy to navigate. The sentence is the path through the jungle of the idea—does that make sense? There can be all kinds of wildness around you, but you still need a clear path through, so that you’re not held up. I think journalism tends to be the middle ground for me, writing-wise. A poetic turn of phrase can help to tell the story more accurately, and can make it come alive for the reader. It’s often these moments of detail—the abandoned toys strewn on the lawn, the shaving cream behind his ear—that wind up being the most memorable. And both editing and writing “non-creatively” drives home the point that you are building something with words, a freestanding intellectual object of sorts.

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