Friday, December 4, 2009
Best of 2009 Blog Challenge, Day 3: Article
Since this year was the year I finished college as a journalism major, I was exposed to a shit-ton of articles. Yeah, that's definitely a real measurement: shit-ton. I don't think I could choose a single one that impacted me...I have an entire 10-inch deep drawer filled with all the articles that I found to be worthy of keeping, and that doesn't count the online articles I archived into my hard drive. So, again, I'm going to have to change the prompt a bit (am I really following this Blog Challenge if I keep changing the prompt? Hmm...) and choose a writer. His articles have consistently meant something to me. To be fair, he as a writer has affected me well before this year (since the year 2006 actually), but every month when I read his stuff I'm constantly surprised how much I love it.
My best of 2009 articles are by: Mike Sager.
For those that know me, this is no surprise. I've loved his writing from the moment I read my first of his pieces in a random Esquire I'd picked up when I was still in high school--at the time, I paid no attention to the writer. The article wasn't about anything mind-blowing or life-changing--in fact, it was about Diane Lane--but I remember that something about his writing style stuck with me. When my first journalism teacher in college made us read one of his pieces ("The Man of Tomorrow Goes To the Prom"), it clicked who he was to me. And then when I found out he was a guest teacher at my college once a quarter every year, i knew i had to have him. I just knew. To make a much longer story short...his class saved my life. He renewed my love for the craft, he helped me grow as a writer, he inspired me to continue on with it. If I hadn't done his class, there's a good chance I would have transferred away from UCI as I'd been planning. Sager encouraged me at a time I had no hope for myself.
Sager is a Writer-At-Large for Esquire and currently has out 3 "compilation" books and one fiction novel. Every month, I pick up Esquire just to search for his writing and make sure I read it. I do own all of his stuff, though I can say I've only completed 2 of the 3 compilation books and half the fiction novel. Good a writer as he is, I couldn't get into his fiction because it's not my style or normal content. I still can see his talent in it, though.
There's something about his journalism style that speaks to me. I know it down to the detail because of his class (and won't "reveal" it here), but how he writes conveys just the right emotion and detail to make you become involved but not attached. It's a weird balance where you care so deeply about a subject you had zero previous care about, but can still step away from it.
I don't even know what to recommend since I love it all. I enjoyed the article about his name and the people who share it, and I will always remember his profile on Bobby Jindal. Really, just click this and you can browse all of his work for Esquire. I even recommend his website, because he has tips for writers and editors.