The beginning for a writer is the journal. I say this because it is the testing grounds for all your styles and ideas. If you do not keep a journal, it will be hard for you to be a good writer in almost any field.
You should write a little every day if you want to cultivate your literary skills. That's the beauty of a journal... because you don't need a revolutionary idea or original thought to write a successful entry into your journal. Other types of writing are not as forgiving; when you write poetry when you don't feel poetic or a story when you don't feel inspired, you will likely not turn out highly artistic words.
Good Memories from the Badlands
Photos from my trip to Killdeer and Medora in Western North Dakota.
Me, Myself & Mr PC
Unpublished piece on personal computers by Shawn Olson.
Her Shadow Walks On
A poem about a lost love.
America’s New War
A reaction to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America, written shortly after the attacks.
Nature and Education
Shawn Olson calls for more inclusion of nature in education.
A Yahoo Speaks Out
An unpublished editorial where Shawn Olson responds to a crankpot reader.
He Whom I Know
Poem on personal identity and the paradox between our inner self and the persona we share with the world around us.
The Price of Learning: Gradecard Dilemma
There is a paradox concerning a parent's push for good grades. The kids don't care about learning.
A Chalkboard column by Shawn Olson about regulars at a pet store.
Using the Internet
This editorial on education was printed as a Chalkboard column in the Messenger.
A poem about the repetitive nature of human nature. We all share certain core elements that repeat over the ages, linking us to humanity.