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Teaching A Budding Writer to Blog

I have planted a seed. And a good seed needs nurturing, pruning and water. So I am enlisting the help of my faithful readers to help this seed to grow.

My stepson Mark has talent. Real, pure, undeniable talent. Anyone that is his friend on MySpace already knows that when he writes, you are drawn to read his words. I have always found his writing to be deep, honest, and emotional, yet sometimes riddled with unnecessary words that discount the impact of the writing. So, with all that talent, his aspirations of being a photojournalist, and him being on his way ‘out’ of school, I thought it was time to teach him about being a blogger, and doing it right.

I am going to be offering him subjects to create articles on and then post them on this blog for you to comment on, review and critique. This will be the water he needs to grow.

We begin today, and the subject I offered up first was Gas Prices & The Economy. I asked him to shoot at least one photo for his article and asked that I receive it by 2:00 pm today to post here for you to see.

Here is his writing on the subject:

Things Are Getting Worse

At least thats what Barrack Obama said. Of course from the looks of things, we all are getting a big relief from the recent pricing of many things. Gas, for instance, starting in the beginning of 08 was on a steady rise to around $2.50 per gallon. Somewhere halfway along the year, those prices rocketed up to maxes of at least five dollars within the United States. And now? We are back where we began if not in better positioning to help ourselves and the national economy as well. Gas prices have fallen back below two dollars. Some, like this American-owned BP here are near the dollar-fifty marker. With this new found glory of sales, many have found it easier than previously thought for a family outing to a well-kept restaurant for the holidays. Others can now get by with their overwhelming lists for groceries. Whatever the bargain is for us these days, from the looks of things, were comfy with a dollar-fifty per gallon.

Here are my thoughts on his first offering:

  • On the whole, I really liked it, especially since there was not even a single curse word in it – a first for him I think 🙂
  • I like that really put HIS thoughts into what HE felt about the prices, and how they impact him.
  • I am not keen on his title. While it is engaging to me, it does not fit fully with the article’s subject.
  • I would have liked to see some sort of explanation, or a link to Senator Obama’s specific words on that headline.

I made many suggestions to him about how we could better enhance his blog title, and article, and thought I would post the edited version, however, I opted to leave his fully intact and post it here for more opinions so as to better lead him to his professional blogger status.

Your thoughts and opinions?


The analytical mind behind Zenful Creations. Responsible for all the bells and whistles; dedicates most of her time to breaking stuff, finding bugs and never spending enough time fixing things.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Denny

    Although not really one to “critique”, I would like to say that I agree that Mark has great potential with his writing and good ability to covey what he wants to get across in print.

    The blog on the economy hits home… also my pocket. I believe the economy will recover based on a conglomerate of people joining together to have faith and support for these United States…. it is confidence that makes the market. The influence of one can change many. Please do not let people sway you to believe in the glum and doom of a faltering status when all you have to do is believe in our American way and the wonderful potential of “Compassionate Capitalism” !!

  2. Phyllis

    Mark’s grammar is lacking in use and substance. His writing does not match the title assigned to him. His thoughts are mere surface thoughts reflected by the average American citizen. I saw not one original thought or expansion of ideas in this blog. This is a typical teenage blog of no subsequence to inform, educate or persuade the reader. Amazingly, he did not use curse words which detract from his message each time he uses them in his writing. I suggest a more complicated title that needs deep research such as “the effects of blogging in a teen society”. Mark needs to use quotes properly, acknowledge his sources correctly, and double check spelling and grammar before hitting the submit button. The evidence of Mark’s neglecting his education are stellar in his blog post and will bleed into his ambition if not directly addressed with compassionate force and primal parenting.
    “A thing derided is a thing dead; a laughing man is stronger than a suffering man.”
    ~~Gustave Flaubert

  3. Jeremy Conner

    I know I’m a few months behind here, but I’m just now getting around to checking your blog Lori!

    I’m not a great writer or anything, as evidenced by my own sorry excuse for a blog, but I am an avid reader of just about anything and have done some writing before…so here are my two cents:

    I actually LOVE his title…I understand why you said it didn’t “fit”, but for me it’s like a sucker punch – it leads you on a bit and then suddenly turns the tables on you. It’s also a bit sarcastic I think…the blurb seems to talk about lowering gas prices, but yet what he hears is that “things are getting worse”. I like this!

    I agree with you that putting some quotes in there from Obama, or perhaps linking to an article would have been a very nice touch here. It would have made his point more…”sharp”…and would have been impressive as well. Incidentally, I’d rather see quotes than a link – I shouldn’t have to leave your article to go read up on another one, and then come back to your article to keep reading. Maybe quotes, and then at the bottom source it with the link so that people who doubt the veracity of the quotes or their context can look them up (context is EVERYTHING these days, people take so much stuff out of context to use it for their own good – I cannot stand when that happens, a pet peeve of mine!)

    He made his points nice and clear, and his writing style is better than most adults I know. I hate to sound patronizing, but as you said he really does have a gift. I’d read his blog if I had the address…and I’m pretty picky about what I spend time reading.

    Anyway, that’s my feedback – hope you’re doing well Lori!

    Jeremy Conner

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