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Will Hoffacker: How has blogging influenced your writing?

Before we start, I wanted to let you know I posted my latest review to The Diary of Ma Yan is a fascinating read and, although classified as young adult, is more than capable of holding the attention of older readers. Now that we’ve taken care of that little bit of business, let’s talk to Will about writing.

You have a great way of telling the story of your day and of writing mini-essays about a variety of subjects. Were you interested in writing before you began the blog? Has the blog expanded your view of yourself as a writer or do you simply blog for the pure fun of it?

I feel as though I’ve always been interested in writing. For a long while, Youngest of One was centrally about what happened to me in school today, what sort of crazy escapades me and my friends were up to today, and how much I’m looking forward to the weekend. Then suddenly I was faced with a challenge—summer vacation. Suddenly the days were much more boring, without any grand school time events to document. And so, I gradually became accustomed to blogging not about day-to-day life, but about my opinions and, most of all, what was really getting on my nerves. That summer of 2004 really brought out a certain style of writing I had no idea I possessed, and since then those mini-essays have pretty much become the norm on my weblog (when, of course, I have the time to write them). The sheer fun of it is very essential to how I blog, but the learning experience of it all is also entirely significant.

One thing I like about your blog is that it isn’t a diary-style where someone simply goes on and on about his or her feelings yet never really saying anything. Many of your entries read like small essays and you certainly have the ability to capture the interest of readers who are not only your age but older. One of my favorite entries was the one detailing your school field trip to Philly. Since I’m Philly born and bred, I had to laugh as I read your commentary. Took me back in time. It seems as if you’re writing more and more commentary not just on your daily life but on the world around you. Would you agree?

I think it would be hilarious if I just said “Yes” and was done with it, since you summed it up pretty well yourself, but then it wouldn’t be much of an interview. Anyway, yes, I absolutely agree with you. One thing that all my avid readers (however many or few there may be) seem to say is that I have a knack for expressing my views in a manner that is supposedly beyond my years. In fact, that’s why I ultimately decided to post a picture of myself, because I wasn’t sure anyone actually believes I’m a teenager. Personally, I wouldn’t know if I have such a gift, because I’ve never been any older than myself. And as totally ridiculous as that may sound, you can’t deny that it’s the truth. That said, I’m flattered that those who have spoken out about my writing feel that way about me, and I will solemnly try to continue as best I can. Pop culture and the world around me have indeed been an outstanding influence on my writing in months of late, but as often as I can I still like to go back to my roots and blog about the obnoxious lady at the Taco Bell or how much I hate shoveling.

Editor’s Note: Tune in tomorrow to find out about Will and the Angry Sugar Bowl!

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