About Don Fry

I wrote my first piece when I was eight years old:
I wonder where the robin goes,
All the winter long.
Maybe where the tulip grows.
They’d listen to his song.
    
No writing process there, I just wrote down what fell out of my mouth. A series of talented writing teachers, including the legendary Phyllis Abbott Peacock, taught me how to produce a perfect surface, correct in spelling, usage, and grammar. I majored in English at Duke, failed to become a Navy pilot (near-sighted), and studied medieval literature at Berkeley. After a first career as an English professor at Virginia and Stony Brook, I changed my profession to journalism, teaching writing and ethics at the Poynter Institute. In 1994, I became an independent writing coach, working all over the world. I have taught over 10,000 people to write better.
    
I published 17 books and several hundred articles. As I surveyed my publications, I realized that, although I taught writing, I had mostly written about helping writers. So I decided to write this book distilling what I know about writing itself.
    
If you only know one way to write, you have no choice but to do it that way. I’m writing this book for you, as part of a lifetime of helping writers free themselves.
This blog turned into a book titled “Writing Your Way,” available from Writer’s Digest on 13 March 2012.
Published on December 27, 2008 at 8:41 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 Comments

  1. Hi Don,

    You have many interesting things to say. You are a real writer. We, the millions of bloggers who post for fun wondering if anyone reads our stuff, need a real Baptism of Fire. Can we actually write something that someone would read?

    I read what you wrote at age 8. It’s nice! I wonder if you were influenced by what Hank Williams wrote about 1949? I love that song!:

    Did you ever see a robin weep
    When leaves begin to die
    That means he’s lost the will to live
    I’m so lonesome I could cry

    Mike

  2. I wrote that poem in 1945, and didn’t know about Hank Williams until the ’70s. When I first started blogging, I thought nobody was reading me, not even my wife. But now the comments come in in batches. Sometimes nothing comes in, in batches or any other way. I resist the temptation to write in such a way as to create the traffic. I’m drafting a book with this blog, and what counts is the final product, which comments like yours will help. So thanks.

  3. [...] art of finding your writing voice.  He proudly sports several, one of which can be enjoyed on his blog. Check it out and then let me [...]

  4. [...] these restrictions on creating meaning directs the choice of the best voice, which the great Don Fry called “ the sum of all the strategies used by the author to create the illusion that the writer [...]

  5. [...] a couple lists of questions. If I remember correctly, Roy Peter Clark had written one list and Don Fry had written a list. I believe there was also a list of questions written by Dave Boardman at The [...]


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