Make it About the Work

Writing is hard, especially when we jump into the world of social or political commentary. The probability of being misunderstood is great, as emotions run high. What I have learned, especially in spaces on social media where conversations happen, is to make it about the work. Meaning, show me how skillful you are at making your point within the context of an established genre like fiction, poetry, essays, or scholarly writing, so readers can engage with the work within the parameters of the rules of that genre. If you write more as a detached  observer than a person with a personal axe to grind, your message will go further and resonate with a wider audience. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself when formulating an argument in writing, no matter what genre you’re working in.

1. Can my position be anchored to objective reality, supported by data or other empirical evidence?

2. Am I taking into account all sides of the argument, while putting my position forward?

3. Does my position also offer solutions, in addition to identifying the problem?

Persuasive writing that has withstood the test of time is more than just an opinion, but serves as a catalyst for a deeper level of discourse, and encourages conversations that can bridge the gulf of understanding between people who could not be more different than one another. Take your time to create works that get your point across, and also make a positive impact.