Posted by Linda
What makes some magazines, like Reader’s Digest, last for years while others cease to exist within a few short months after launch? Besides keeping afloat from advertising, perhaps it is the kinds of articles the magazine offers.
Writer’s Digest The Handbook of Magazine Article Writing provides a chapter on art-of-living essays and articles. Published in 1988, we might consider their handbook old fashioned, yet, art-of-living articles are never out of date.
They use Reader’s Digest as an example. More current, we might consider the success of Chicken Soup for the Soul and Erma Bombeck. All take everyday living, add good writing, and come out winners. Perhaps some of you are too young to remember Erma Bombeck. She took every day events like mopping a floor, added humor, and wrote wonderful short entertaining art-of-living pieces, not all humorous. For years I kept her article “Why I Love You Best” about each of her children’s attributes contributing to her loving them in different ways.
I know someone who also writes short pieces. She, too, often writes from life and fills each piece with words that truly paint pictures. She gathers her dictionary, thesaurus, and any other writer’s help to express herself, receives assignments without even trying, and sells lots of articles. Oh, to be in her shoes!
Art-of-living articles come in several forms – inspirational narratives, inspirational essays, inspirational articles on faith and religion, and self-help. Don’t let the term “inspirational” scare you; it does not refer to religion, but, rather, to showing the human side of an event. After the Challenger disaster, the manager of the Space Station Project at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston told an author, “With all the vast technology of our space age, there’s nothing more powerful than one human reaching out to another.”
That statement summarizes art-of-living writing – articles that touch someone’s life and/or causes the reader to relate. Read here.a heart wrenching art-of-living article at Writing for Dollars called "When Two Words are Enough"