More Than A Writing Tip
May 04, 2021
Last night I saw an eye-catching video of a new invention. It was at best revolutionary and at least fun.
But that's not what the commenters said. I thought of the last line of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery": "...and then they were upon her."
Almost every comment tore down the idea and the person who posted it, often with glee.
That's what people do, we get contrary.
Pardon my language, but that's a sh*tty way to live.
It's also a poor way to write, to think, and to conduct discourse.
WHEN YOU WRITE OR ANALYZE, recognize your own knee-jerk opposition, set it aside, then do this:
1. Focus first on what's uniquely good about the thing you're writing about.
2. If that's not possible, focus constructively on the motivation. You may hate the idea but you may share the goal. (For example, you may hate free-market medicine or socialized medicine, but most supporters of either path want people to get good care at affordable prices.)
3. If it's dangerous or bad and that's all there is to say, confine your criticism to the idea. Reject personal attacks and snide asides. Yeah, they're fun, but they move the ball backward, not forward. Is your goal progress or attention?
4. If you have a superior idea, mention it. If you don't, say so.
At its core, writing is an expression of the way you think. So be mindful. Your true nature is on display in every paragraph.