Saturday, 19 March 2016

6 writers whose skills I'm coveting like crazy

All writers will identify with the problem of writer envy, and I'm suffering extreme bouts of it at the moment. Writer envy (not the technical term) is when you read something that's just so damn well written, you wish you'd written it yourself. Sound familiar?

These are just some of the writers, in no particular order, giving me writer envy at the moment: 

1. Douglas Adams. Yes, yes, Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Confession time: I've never read Hitchhiker's.What I have read, however, and loved, is Last Chance To See, Douglas Adams' book about his many globetrotting adventures seeking endangered animals. I've yet to find another writer who can share an anecdote with such wit -- suffice to say my dog-eared copy is firmly on my not-to-be-read-on-the-train pile, out of fear of an undignified explosion of laughter taking place in a public place. 

2. Ian Nairn. Crikey, this man isn't afraid of an adjective or a metaphor, nor does he believe in beating about the bush. He'll call a spade a spade, but he'll use ten wonderful words to do so. His architectural descriptions of London buildings in his book Nairn's London are pretty close to perfection.

3. Daisy Buchanan. I first came across her work when she was liveblogging Made In Chelsea for The Debrief, and her direct approach had me in fits of laughter. She's since moved on to bigger things which are all equally worthy of a read.

4. Will Noble. I'm lucky to work with an extremely talented bunch of writers at Londonist, but the one whose work always leaves me in awe is Will. Whatever he's writing about, whether it's tube trains or t-shirts, he does so with enviable eloquence, and often with tongue firmly stuck in cheek too. Have a read of this. And this. And this. And this. Heck, just read your way through this whole list and let me know when you're done.
(If anyone else who I work with is reading this, you're all wonderful!)

5. Farrah Kelly. Disclosure time: Farrah's a friend of mine. She's also an ace blogger, who, in a fair world, would be a full-time writer to give the world as much chance as possible to read her work. She writes as though she's chatting to a friend -- I can hear her Northern accent speaking her words as I read them in my head. 

6. Marina O'Loughlin. I was left bereft when food writer Marina O'Loughlin moved from Metro to The Guardian in 2012. I don't much care for food writing -- eating the stuff, yes. Reading about someone else eating it? Not so much. Yet I found myself looking forward to her columns every week, the words always twisted so cleverly around that you could never be too sure whether she was bestowing a compliment or an insult to whichever lucky/unlucky restaurant she was reviewing that week.

Which other writers should I be reading? Let me know in the comments.