Back to Basics with William Zinsser and Lillian Ross

Over the past five years I’ve done quite a bit of writing.  I’ve sent 50,000 emails

over that period of time.  However, during that span I’ve done very little creative or even blog-form writing.  Well here we are writing a blog!

To suck less at writing I’ve bought two books, Reporting Always by Lillian Ross and On Writing Well by William Zinsser.  The latter is a mainstay among my “books that were written in the fifties but are actually still useful” collection along with Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.  I read On Writing Well at least once a year to remind myself to keep my writing concise and on point.  I strive to be a strong communicator and this book should help me stay on that road to improvement.

According to the synopsis Reporting Always “it collects a wide range of Lillian Ross’s iconic New Yorker profiles and Talk of the Town pieces spanning nearly sixty years, bringing readers into the hotel rooms of Ernest Hemingway, John Huston, and Charlie Chaplin…”.  Lillian Ross is clearly a legend in her field, best known as “an American journalist and author who has been a staff writer at the New Yorker since 1945.”  I bought Reporting Always because I’m searching for a writing style to emulate, and I’m especially intrigued by the New Yorker’s 20th century reputation as a casual but enriching read.  Lillian Ross’ work embodies the traditional spirit of the New Yorker and I’d like to draw from this literary style.

We’re going back to basics and I’m excited!  After I review these books I’ll be sure to provide updates.  I need to move past my “email template communication”.  I must become a better writer!