A second introduction

Hello again.

My name is Jason Rubinstein and I am now in my last semester here. It’s crazy how fast it all went. Anyways, to give a refresher: I grew up in Northbrook, Illinois, a suburb 30 minutes north of Chicago. It’s also next to Highland Park, which everyone seems to know at this school. I don’t know why. I write hockey for The Michigan Daily, and also edited sports for 2.5 years. However, that ended last semester and I’m still trying to figure out what to do with all this new free time.

Anyways, as you could probably deduce, the largest writing community I am apart of is the sports journalism world. I probably spent 30 hours a week in every semester of college in that community whether that be physically writing, editing, interviewing or even just watching the sporting event. What I loved about journalism is how the writing is so concise, quick and calculated. I loved getting to piece together the sporting event in the way that I think makes sense. Deadlines also make for significant pressure while reporting, but deadline writing is the best type of writing. I think the best writing comes when you’re under a strict deadline.

However, journalism also allows you to write features, like this one I wrote on JT Compher on the hockey team. Writing this allowed me to develop a character in a non-fictional way that I loved.

Aside from the journalism community, I recently joined the short fiction community after taking English 223 last semester. I ended up writing a fiction piece on a turtle who can talk to humans and befriends a bullied student. It was weirdly a ton of fun to write and I have absolutely no idea how I came up with that story. Writing fiction is incredibly different than journalism. There aren’t deadlines. My professor said she had been working on a novel for over two years. That is crazy! The word choice is less concise and instead, a bit more flowery. It’s all about showing and not telling. Journalism is the opposite.

However, like the feature listed above, short fiction allows you to create your own characters: You can pick his/her flaws and strengths. Just like you get invested into a feature, you get invested into these characters you create. And that might be hard to believe, but just try it. I promise.

So while the worlds are much different, writing is writing. Its core is the same. And the two may be more intertwined than I once thought.

I’m looking forward to a great semester.

Cheers.

 

Oh, and here is a picture of my Dog, Roger, and I. He is my favorite thing on Earth.

Roger, my standard poodle, and I
Roger, my standard poodle, and I

Jason Rubinstein

A half-Argentinean sports writer for The Michigan Daily. Previous intern at the New York Daily News. Siracha sauce enthusiast. Avid Chicago Sports fan. Once turned down a bid from AEPi.

6 thoughts to “A second introduction”

  1. Hey Jason,

    I loved your post, and your dog is cute. Also I know where Northbrook is because I celebrated Passover there this year (but I must throw in there that when I was going I was told it was near Highland Park because I already knew where that was…)

    You paint such positive pictures of both of your writing communities. One of my biggest college regrets was never joining the Daily because everyone raves about it. Ironically it was because I was afraid of the time commitment, and yet I only tend to write when I’m on a strict deadline, which is why I think your comment about short fiction writing not having a deadline was so interesting. It’s a genre I have always been afraid to explore because it requires so much imagination and consistency, especially in the characters. For me, I would be afraid to create someone with whom a reader couldn’t sympathize or grow to love, and I really admire how you mentioned getting invested in the character creation.

    I hope I get to read your story about the turtle at some point this semester, because it sounds awesome.

    Best,
    Amy

  2. Hi Jason,
    First I have to say I’m jealous of your dog. My parents gave mine away when I went to college and it was probably the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. I’m sorry to say that I don’t know where Highland Park is, even though I spent two years of my life living in Illinois, so not everyone at this school knows!

    You seem so enthusiastic about writing in general, and I think that’s great. I second Amy’s comment about reading the story about the talking turtle; it sounds pretty sweet. I really like that you’ve found that the core of all writing is the same. For me, it’s about spreading ideas, whether it’s through creating a fictional character to go on a quest or through spreading scientific advancement with technical jargon. I love that through writing we can express ideas and share knowledge in any way that we please.

    Can’t wait to hear what you come up with throughout the semester, because your writing sounds like it will be fun to read.

    Best,
    Kristen

  3. Hi Jason

    It sounds like you are very passionate about sports journalism, and I hope you find ways to continue with this passion in the future! I agree with what you said about deadline writing; I felt a lot of pressure last semester when meeting deadlines for the Daily, but just knowing I needed to write something allowed for my best writing to come through.

    Your fiction piece sounds really cool, and like Amy said, I’d love to read it! I can definitely relate to what you said about how different it is to switch from journalism to creative writing, and how you have to focus on more showing instead of telling. As you sort of mentioned, there are pros and cons to all different types of writing styles, so it’s great that you got to practice a variety in college!

    Also, as Amy and Kristen mentioned, your dog is adorable!

    Annie

  4. Hey Jason –

    I have to admit, I’m a tad envious of your writing communities. I have not had the opportunity to dabble in sports journalism nor fiction — though I do intend to! Comparing your writing communities to my own (the scientific writing community and the your-friend’s-Facebook-article commenting community) it seems a spectrum can be made between quick, concise journalism and slow, thoughtful fiction. My personal favorite writing is that which falls in the middle of the spectrum. Have you ever attempted a more slow, creative form of your sports journalism (maybe now that you’re not limited by deadlines) that still allows you to profile characters in-depth? Perhaps you would enjoy it!

    All the best,
    Cameron

  5. Hi Jason,

    As someone who has worked in sports media before, from both the production and reporting sides, I can identify with your love of sports journalism. With the ending always decided, sports writing is a really fun way to construct a narrative of mostly random events. I am also a fan of long form features, the deep dives into athletes that allow for interesting sidebars that a standard sports article might exclude.

    Creative writing is also a ton of fun, which I learned after taking several screenwriting courses at Michigan. The story of your turtle would be a funny animated show, it would be interesting to see the direction you took your work in.

  6. Hi Jason,
    I definitely connected with your point on how deadlines can completely change your writing. I’m used to writing on strict deadlines, which I feel really shapes my overall process, from outlining to narrowing the scope to editing. I also took English 223, and found that I had to push myself to think past deadlines and, often, force myself yo spend more time on a project than I had initially intended. I also liked how you talked about creative sports journalism, since I feel like this is an especially interesting genre that I’ve seen popping up more and more lately. As someone who’s not super involved in the sports world, the somewhat-narrative nature of this genre makes the topic interesting to me, which I think is a big deal.

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