I have several favorite columnists - some local - some regional and some syndicated. My top of the list includes Anna Quindlen. Her professional bio is impressive. She was the third woman to write for the op-ed page in The New York Times. She is a Pulitzer Price winning columnist. She is a best selling author of numerous books and she currently writes the last page column of Newsweek magazine.
She is my absolute favorite columnist and if I'm ever asked who I would like to most write like - it would be Anna Quindlen. I don't always agree with her position but I do always agree her writing is top-notch and never off pitch.
She is sharp - she is smart - she can be humorous - she writes about what's important today and she is the total writers package. To get to know her and get a good sense of her writing, read her two books, Thinking Out Loud and Loud and Clear.
In my own writing career, I would like to be a syndicated columnist even more so than being a top selling author. I cannot write fiction of any genre. I can only write non-fiction so all of my future books will be business, technology, marketing or public relations related. These are the topics that interest me and this is the type of writing I feel passionate about.
When I think about creating non-fictional characters or story lines - I freeze. As such, becoming a columnist would be a great level to aspire. There is no better teacher than Anna Quindlen. She writes on everything from social change to raising kids to political and global events.
Her book titles are so on spot because that is exactly what she does in her Newsweek columns, she speaks out loud and does so loud and clear.
Take her March 2001 column about Our Tired, Our Poor, Our Kids: "Here is the parallel universe that has flourished while the more fortunate were rewarding themselves for the stock split with SUVs and home additions. There is a boom market in homelessness. But these are not the men on the streets of San Francisco holding out cardboard signs to tourists. They are children."
Anna talks about all of the important issues of our time at the time. She is sublime. Read her for yourself by getting the next Newsweek with her column in it or try one of the two books I've mentioned.