Different Writers

different writers

Different Writers – you read about four writers who talk about how they started to write and their experiences becoming writers.

  • Time

    10 minutes

  • Main Skills


  • Topic

    Media and Entertainment - Different Writers (Exercise 2)

Sally May
Justin Becker
Robert Martin
Tim Winter

I started keeping a diary when I was eight years old, and have done it more or less continuously for almost ten years now. The first few entries were all about my first ever trip abroad – I went to New York with my family and remember that there was so much to take in, so many new experiences while we were there. I decided to write it all down each evening so that I wouldn’t forget any of it – and I’m really glad I did! These days I try to spend around half an hour on my diary each evening, writing about the day, but also looking back over what I’ve written previously. Sometimes that can be quite amusing. But after I caught my brother trying to read my diary a few years ago, I wrote all sorts of horrible things about him. I can’t quite believe I did that! After that, I kept my diary in a safe place for a while, though I don’t bother now as I’m sure my brother wouldn’t be interested in reading it any more.

I’ve always got a diary with me – a notebook and pen in my bag, or sometimes just my phone. It means that when there’s something I want to note down, I don’t have to worry about remembering it until later. That suits me much better than having a fixed time for diary writing each day – though I know some people say that’s the best way to keep it up. I’ve always loved reading other people’s diaries – famous actors or politicians, even. And there are two or three blogs that I look at quite regularly, though I’ve never been tempted to write one myself. I think that as soon as you know you’ve got an audience, it’s very hard to avoid adding extra details, or changing bits here and there to make something sound more interesting or more shocking. It’s funny because I’m quite happy to read all about someone else’s private life, but if it was the other way round, I’d be really embarrassed about it.

I’ve just started writing a diary again after a gap of a couple of years – I stopped when my schoolwork was taking up more and more of my time, and only recently realised I missed it. I think that putting everything down on paper gives you a chance to reflect on what’s been going on, and to make sense of how you’re feeling. If I look back at a page I can tell instantly how I was feeling that day – from the size and shape of my writing, or from how neat and tidy it looks. And sometimes I’m quite surprised by the detail of things I’ve written – who I met, who I talked to, what I ate even. Sometimes I write it all down, with clear headings, points one below the other. This helps me to remember all of the details – it’s great for keeping a record of events for the future, even if none of it is all that remarkable.

I’ve always loved writing, and would love to write a novel in the future – I have all sorts of stories in my head. Some of them are based on real-life events, and when I describe them in my diary, I often add a note about an idea I’ve got, or a possible character. Then I’ve got a list on another piece of paper where I record these, so I don’t forget them. I always write by hand – I think using a computer makes the process seem so much more business-like, and less personal. But I do try to keep my diary writing to a maximum of an hour a day – one of my teachers told me that if you’re not careful, you start living for your diary, rather than the other way round. There’s some truth in that – my diary is one of my most precious possessions, and so it’s always in a safe place in my bedroom. It’s not that I’m all that bothered about someone else reading it, but I’d be lost without it!


Read the text about different writers.  Choose the statements which are correct about the students.

1. This person sees diary writing as a way of keeping a list.

Question 1 of 10

2. This person mentions an event that caused them to begin diary writing.

Question 2 of 10

3. This person feels uncomfortable if they think other people might read their diary.

Question 3 of 10

4. This person thinks that diary writing helps them to understand life.

Question 4 of 10

5. This person explains the importance of having a time limit on diary writing.

Question 5 of 10

6. This person is careful about where they keep their diary.

Question 6 of 10

7. This person thinks that not everything you read in online diaries is true.

Question 7 of 10

8. This person enjoys reading their diary entries from the past.

Question 8 of 10

9. This person believes that if you have a larger audience, you tend to write differently.

Question 9 of 10

10. This person suggests that their handwriting can give away as much as the actual words in the diary.

Question 10 of 10


Here are the some words and phrases covered in this exercise:

  • audience
  • blogs
  • character
  • diary
  • heading
  • keep a record
  • new experiences
  • looking back
  • precious possessions
  • suits me
  • reflect on


  • Speaking

    Skills to communicate with others to express thoughts and feelings.

  • Listening

    Skills to improve active listening in order to develop responses to what someone is saying.

  • Reading

    Skills to stimulates imagination memory and recall information

  • Writing

    Skills to foster the ability to explain and refine ideas.


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