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Writer's block is a relatively common experience among writers, especially professional writers, when for a period of time the writer feels unable to write for reasons other than lack of skill or commitment. Writers of blogs, which have appeared on the World Wide Web since the 1990s, need no authorization to be published. The contents of these short opinion pieces or "posts" form a commentary on issues of specific interest to readers who can use the same technology to interact with the author, with an immediacy hitherto impossible.

Information for Undergraduate Writers

CHSS photoMost writers write alone – typically they are engaged in a solitary activity that requires them to struggle with both the concepts they are trying to express and the best way to express it. This may mean choosing the best genre or genres as well as choosing the best words. Writers often develop idiosyncratic solutions to the problem of finding the right words to put on a blank page or screen. 

Journalism ... is a public trust, a responsibility, to report the facts with context and completeness, to speak truth to power, to hold the feet of politicians and officials to the fire of exposure, to discomfort the comfortable, to comfort those who suffer. 

Information for Graduate Writers

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In some cases, such as that between a librettist and composer, a writer will collaborate with another artist on a creative work. One of the best known of these types of collaborations is that between Gilbert and Sullivan. Librettist W. S. Gilbert wrote the words for the comic operas created by the partnership.

Some writers contribute very small sections to a piece of writing that cumulates as a result. This method is particularly suited to very large works, such as dictionaries and encyclopedias. The best known example of the former is the Oxford English Dictionary, under the editorship of lexicographer James Murray, who was provided with the prolific and helpful contributions of W.C. Minor, at the time an inmate of a hospital for the criminally insane.

  • Collaborative writing means that multiple authors write and contribute to a piece of writing.
  • In this approach, it is highly likely the writers will collaborate on editing the piece too.
  • The more usual process is that the editing is done by an independent editor after the writer submits a draft version.

The best known example of the latter – an encyclopedia that is crowdsourced – is Wikipedia, which relies on millions of writers and editors such as Simon Pulsifer worldwide.


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