Believe it or not, I am a proud graduate of Elon University.
And, believe it or not, Elon University happens to be a more than decent institution.
So how I got in (and graduated), I have yet to figure it out.
Anyway, while enjoying the mistake Elon made during those four wonderful years, I had the pleasure of learning from some of the brightest, most interesting minds of their fields.
One mind in particular, and the subtopic of this post, is Professor Michael Skube. What an odd fellow. But he gave me some of the best advice. And it is pretty simple. All he said was “good writers read good writing.”
As a communicator, it is crucial to weed out all the fluff we read, in order to continually expand our minds and stay sharp. So below is a short list of the material I read, and the material I stray away.
What I read:
1. New York Times
2. Kurt Vonnegut
3. Shakespeare (I know, quiet)
4. Some classics (Machiavelli, American Revolutionaries, etc.)
5. Anything Freakonomics
What I Don’t read:
1. Wall Street Journal op-eds (Post-Murdoch)
2. Anything associated with Fox News (perhaps due to my own bias, but ah well)
3. Anything science fiction (minus Ray Bradbury)
4. Anything long-winded (Nathaniel Hawthorne- yikes..easy on the description)
And of course, also from Prof. Skube, I keep an AP Stylebook and Strunk & White’s “On Writing Well” nearby at all times. Good grammar and writing is hot.