Oct 10 2013

Good Writing – Writing Exercise

Published by under Writing Exercises

To choose a piece of good writing is difficult – like telling someone to search for the subjectively right golden needle amongst a myriad of golden needles and bits of chaff. This writing that I have chosen may not be “good” writing to someone else, but this, I think, is what makes all of our own writing unique: we all appreciate different things at different points in our lives. The writing that I would like to look at today is a blog post written by Beth at Local Milk. Her blog is something that my own personal blog aspires to be – gorgeous pictures, beautiful words and a sense of life itself within and without the topic of the post. Local Milk is a food blog, but is one of the blogs that does an eloquent job of blending life and food (the idea of storytelling + cooking is a current trend in the world of food blogs. some do it better than others).

The sample piece that I will link to is her recipe for salted caramel apple dumplings with dried cherries and hazelnuts. She starts by describing her trip to the orchard to pick the apples that she will use in this recipe. She reflects upon nature as she drives through the Blue Ridge Mountains, but also among her narrative is a reflection on driving alone as driving into a different life. She also reflects that “The universe saw fit to give me a house on a precipice to live in. It’s beautiful here. And I won’t jump or fall today, not that I think there’s a difference between the two. Not today.” Her narrative is not only about food or the way in which she obtained ingredients, but also a reflection on life, and life and death as she drives.

Beth’s post is an example of what Lamott and Metzeger describe as inner exploration, even though the topic of the post is entirely different from the themes that run through it. The use of these themes in her writing make the post more interesting, since wondering about life is a form of internal exploration that many people partake it. Beth takes her own inner exploration and publishes it in a way that is interesting to others, which is what Lamott advocates in her piece on “The Moral Point of View”. This post is “good writing” because it constructs a compelling narrative that interests the reader, and takes them on a journey to the end result: the recipe.

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