April 11, 2011
Matt Yglesias on student writing and the Internet:
The thing that you have to do if you’re in college is start doing the work. Follow writers you like on Twitter and use it to interact with them. Write your own blog, and even though it probably won’t have many readers take it seriously and write it like it’s intended to be read by total strangers. If you do internships, try to do them at places that hire young people for writing jobs (i.e., not the New Yorker). Think about what would be a good place for a first job, not a place where you’d dream of ending your career. If you do a post critiquing something someone you respect wrote (me, for example) then send an email and explain yourself—you might get noticed. If you get ignored, don’t get discouraged—you might suck, but the guy you wrote to just might have been busy that afternoon.
I’m going to add that writing faculty should be encouraging these activities, and that writing faculty should be taking part in them as well. Obviously.