Each week, Evan Peterson rounds up stories from across the Web that scribes of all stripes should check out.
What place does cursive writing have in today's world? Is writing more rewarding than acting? How hard is it to write the State of the Union address? Is there an age bias in the minds of most readers?
Let's examine each of these:
Does cursive writing matter?:
Indiana's Senate recently passed legislation that would require penmanship to be taught in the state's schools. Before you go all "way of the future" saying that cursive is obsolete in the face of electronic media, consider that cursive might have benefits beyond being able to read it. According to Psychology Today
Cursive writing, compared to printing, is even more beneficial because the movement tasks are more demanding, the letters are less stereotypical, and the visual recognition requirements create a broader repertoire of letter representation.
Actors turned writers:
If writing can be compared to bleeding
, then why on Earth would one want to leave the seemingly cushy world of a successful Hollywood actor to try on prose as a career? Several have been doing it lately. For an answer, consider this very actor-like explanation: “I consider the book a very glamorous form,” says B.J. Novak. “A lot of other people do, too, even if it’s a little dormant in how it’s expressed culturally.” Got that?
Writers judged by their age?:
It's a longstanding tradition in Hollywood and on Broadway that most of the best female roles are written for young actresses. It's a longstanding tradition of audiences to support this practice by buying tickets. Does this preference for youth extend to female writers as well? Novelist Fay Weldon argues that it does, and that e-books might be a way around it.
[RELATED: Get advanced writing and editing tips from Mark Ragan and Jim Ylisela.]
Meet the SOTU speechwriter:
There are only a handful of speechwriters who actually get to hold that title. Fewer still might get a wire story written about their work and career history. This Reuters piece profiles the man with the highest-profile speechwriting gig on the planet and how he approached one of the year's highest-profile speeches. So, what’s it like to write for the president?
Our jobs are remarkably like graduate school... You get a paper assignment, you might pull an all-nighter or come in really early to finish, and you hand it in and then you get his marks back and find out whether (the president) likes it or not.
And in the "Are Robots Taking Our Jobs?" category, China's moon rover is live-blogging its own death
Evan Peterson is a writer based in Chicago, and the editor of OpenMarkets magazine at CME Group. He's on Twitter at @evanmpeterson.