How to Write a Better Online Review

When you’re booking a hotel, making a restaurant reservation or considering which book to read next, do you check out the online reviews? My own unscientific research suggests people who write those reviews do it for one of four reasons: 1. They’re bored. 2. They want attention. 3. They have a gripe (legitimate or not) […]

What Good Writing and Olympic Figure Skating Have In Common

Ever since the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, began on Feb. 9, my wife, Lisa, hasn’t watched much of anything else on TV. Figure skating has emerged as her favorite sport, although she doesn’t seem too impressed when I tell her that as a young boy in Minneapolis, I learned to skate at almost […]

How Unplugging Makes You a Better Writer

While working at a bagel shop recently, I decided to forgo my laptop to read some printouts and take actual notes with a pen. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one seeking an analog assist that day. A couple tables away from me, a guy about my age was jotting notes in a spiral notebook, and […]

Why Writing Is a Lot Like Baseball

I attacked my to-be-read pile of articles over the weekend and spent some time with the July issue of Harper’s. That magazine’s “Memoir” section typically is one of my favorites, and this issue featured a first-person piece by author Mark Edmundson about his experience playing Pee Wee League baseball in 1960. Afraid to swing the […]