I try to write things that can't be made into movies. My novels have thwarted many attempts to film them and I think that was true of the essay, too. If you'd actually tried to be true to the essay, it would have been, perhaps, boring. So taking that narrow little cast of characters and expanding it out, that was what was exciting about the project for me.
I think I've been mildly obsessed with my hair. I don't think I have a hugely adversarial relationship with it. One my essay is about my decision to keep coloring my hair once it started to go gray, but once I wrote the essay - once the book was in production - I decided to go gray.
Our job as friends, mentors, parents, and writing coaches is not to write anyone's college essay. That's cheating. Plus, it sends a discouraging message to the teenager that he or she can't be trusted with this important assignment. Trust the student to write the essay, but verify that it gets done. Gentle editing and proofreading are allowed.
I find that most people know what a story is until they sit down to write one. Then they find themselves writing a sketch with an essay woven through it, or an essay with a sketch woven through it, or an editorial with a character in it, or a case history with a moral, or some other mongrel thing.
If one writing contributed more than any other to the framework in which this work Sowell's Knowledge and Decisions developed, it would be an essay entitled 'The Use of Knowledge in Society,' published in the American Economic Review of September 1945, and written by F. A. Hayek . . In this plain and apparently simple essay was a deeply penetrating insight into the way societies function and malfunction, and clues as to why they are so often and so profoundly misunderstood.
Purple light passed over the paper, but nothing happened. "Next!" Amy said. She was sure the man in black was going to burst in on them any second. "Whoa!" Dan said. Amy gripped his arm. "You found it?" "No, but look! This whole essay - 'To the Royal Academy.' He wrote a whole essay on farts!" Dan grinned with delight. "He's proposing a scientific study on different fart smells. You're right, Amy. This guy was a genius!
Now it makes sense, for example, if the children are taking a vocabulary test of 100 words, and one of the kids misses thirteen of them, to give him an 87 percent. But we go far beyond this. A student writes an essay on a sunset, let us say, and the teacher writes 87 percent at the top of that paper. What he is saying, in effect, is that there is a mathematical metaphor operative here. The figure of 87 is to 100 what this submitted essay is... to what? What on earth is this supposed to mean?
I have these guilts about never having read Chaucer but I was talked out of learning Early Anglo-Saxon / Middle English by a friend who had to take it for her Ph.D. They told her to write an essay in Early Anglo-Saxon on any-subject-of-her-own-choosing. "Which is all very well," she said bitterly, "but the only essay subject you can find enough Early Anglo-Saxon words for is 'How to Slaughter a Thousand Men in a Mead Hall'.
the art of writing has for backbone some fierce attachment to an idea... It is on the back of an idea, something believed in with conviction or seen with precision and thus compelling words to a shape... You have not finished with it because you have read it, any more than friendship is ended because it is time to part. Life wells up and alters and adds. Even things in a book-case change if they are alive; we find ourselves wanting to meet them again; we find them altered. So we look back upon essay after essay by Mr. Beerbohm, knowing that, come September or May, we shall sit down with them and talk.
To prove to [her friend, Swedish diplomat Count] Gyllenborg that she was not superficial, Catherine composed an essay about herself, "so that he would see whether I knew myself or not." The next day, she wrote and handed to Gyllenborg an essay titled 'Portrait of a Fifteen-Year-Old Philosopher.' He was impressed and returned it with a dozen pages of comments, mostly favorable. "I read his remarks again and again, many times [Catherine later recalled in her memoirs]. I impressed them on my consciousness and resolved to follow his advice. In addition, there was something else surprising: one day, while conversing with me, he allowed the following sentence to slip out: 'What a pity that you will marry! I wanted to find out what he meant, but he would not tell me.
Robert K. Massie