Frank Rich does Reddit: From writing advice to Ayn Rand

Today was Frank Rich’s day on Reddit. Some highlights from the New York Magazine writer’s AMA (ask me anything):

Regarding writer’s block: “It’s a problem that has dogged me since I started writing under deadline for a college paper. You just have to keep going — get something down. The terror of the empty page (or computer screen) must be fought tooth-and-nail.”

Frank Rich

“I think the divide in the Republican party is the most fascinating political story in years — maybe even more so than the rise of Obama. …Nowhere is the divide more dramatic than in Romney, the last vestige of the old guard, vs Ryan, the spear carrier for the radical right that is now the tail wagging the GOP dog.”

Will print magazines survive longer than newspapers? “I don’t have a clue — though right now it seems that generally more high-quality magazines (not just New York) are thriving than [sic] high-quality newspapers.”

“It is embarrassing (and depressing) that ‘fact-checker’ is now a journalistic gimmick rather than part of the actual process of reporting stories as they emerge. The time to call out lies is when they first turn up on the public stage.”

Is there room for successful journalism that is both fair and truth-focused? “Yes there is, there’s a market for it, and many are trying to fill it in the new digital age. I fully expect new institutions to emerge.”

“I think the resurgence of Ayn Rand is as remarkable as it is disturbing.”

Advice for aspiring magazine writers: “Write about what you feel passionate about, because that will produce your best work. So don’t game it. If you really care about pop culture, fine, write about it, but if your passion is sports or politics or science or whatever, do it instead, and do it anywhere you can, whether at school, as a blog, doesn’t matter. Good writing will out, believe me, and top publications recognize it when they see it.”

To the woman who has a crush on his son Simon and asks “Will you put in a good word for me?”: “Get in line.”

* I am Frank Rich, writer-at-large for New York Magazine (reddit.com)







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