Writing as a conversation

Last week, when the assignment was presented to bring in two pieces of writing (one in which we want to emulate) to class, the name Mitch Albom immediately came to mind. After reading Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie in eighth grade and being introduced to his style of writing, I have constantly found myself wanting to read more of Albom’s work. Granted, Mitch Albom is by no means the most intellectually engaging author I have come across, but something about his sarcastic tone and honest writing continually draws me in.

The aspect of Albom’s writing that I enjoy most is the fact that I feel he is having a conversation with his readers. Albom is very aware of his audience, and this awareness is very clear in his writing. While it may be that this ability to relate stems from his sarcasm and blunt tone that is characteristic of his writing, it is not Albom’s style of writing that I wish to emulate. Rather, it is his tone, and the ability to talk with—rather than to—his readers that I wish to emulate in my own writing.

Albom’s ability to fuel conversation with his audience is clear in his Detroit Free Press article “Bring curtain down on the LeBron James Show.” Discussing the media frenzy over James’ 2010 decision to stay or leave the Cleveland Cavilers basketball team, Albom writes, “Note to journalism students. When we celebrate investigative reporting, it’s for the issues like war crimes, nursing home scandals or police corruption. It’s not to report that LeBron James has opened a Twitter account.” Here, Albom takes the time to make a direct point to journalism students. While this note may not directly discuss James’ free agency, Albom uses it for social commentary and to relate to his audience; he is making a larger point about James and the media. This note gives the readers a look into his thoughts, and engages the readers in a conversation-like way.

Regardless of his medium of writing (books or articles) and regardless of the topic at hand, Mitch Albom is able to retain this sense of conversation in each of his works. It is this feeling of having a conversation with the writer that keeps me engaged as a reader and that I hope to emulate in my own writing.

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