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.
The Paradox of Cultural Relativism
An skeptical essay on the paradox of cultural relativism when taken to an extreme. My stance is that cultural relativism is only valid in a limited scope and should not be used to justify barbaric and supertitious societies.
In the end
A poem on the end of everything.
Politics from the Porch
People wonder what the value of politics is. Inclusion in history, that's the value.
My Experience at Westland High School
How an honor-roll student can lose heart and drop out
An overview of Shawn Olson's experience at Westland High School.
Some observations on smokers
You can't argue with people who are addicted to cigarettes.
Society's sentiment towards evolution
People argue against evolution all the time when they've never read about it.
Who is she
A poem about a father who abandoned his daughter almost 30 years ago.
Subjects in the Classroom and Life
A discussion on the utilitarian value of the subjects our schools teach. This editorial on education was one of the last pieces Shawn Olson printed as a Messenger writer.
My feelings on God
My personal views on God.