You have something to say. Here are some simple tips (unprovable and disorganized):
- Have something to say. Rhetoric exercises could be fun for a while, but having an original thought or convincing idea supported by good reasoning is better.
- Be personal. Except in scientific papers, avoid passive voice. Use “I” and “you” as much as possible. Engage the reader as you are talking to him/her face to face.
- Be honest. Relax your attempt to be in control and be frank. The truth is too much to ask for (except under oath), but honesty is recognizable and allows you to share your journey, your struggle. The feeling is good on both sides.
- Some humor is good but tricky, …the right places, the right flavor, but when it is good, it is great. Not taking your subject (including yourself) too seriously is relaxing for the readers and that relaxation makes them more susceptible to your message. And do not forget: humor is the only way your wisdom can be forgiven.
- An element of surprise. It could be a paradox, a contradiction, a play of words, an ambivalent statement, something to engage the reader’s mind to understand the game. There is no game, the only game is engagement. You believe that all the paradoxes and ambivalency are reflections of the contradictory and messy world, and on a very rare occasion they are, but mostly they are attention control.
- Most importantly — tell a story. Humans think in stories (Yuval Harari), that’s our way to empathize, to remember, to believe, to belong. Your narrative could only resemble a story (an illusion of a story), just to make your words relatable. From talking things in fairy tales to allegories, and archetypes, anything to help the reader fantasizes some context of what you are saying …and that’s how we create meaning.
PS Any exceptions from the stated above guidelines will be accepted if they are artful enough.
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