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First Things First

In 1995, David Von Drehle gave advice about writing on deadline. It was so cogent, so relevant to every kind of writing, that I’ve held onto it ever since I first heard it. It also serves today as the centerpiece of writing classes I teach.

First, Von Drehle advised, “you have to fall back on the basics” and answer three questions. Then you can write.

  1. Why does this story matter?
  2. What’s the point?
  3. What does it say about life, about the world, about the times we live in?

My goal with this space is to find the words that live up to this challenge. Hold me to it, won’t you?