Sunday, June 03, 2007

Editorial Statement for June 2007: Express Yourself

Editorial Statement for June 2007: Express Yourself

For the entire month of June, I shall attempt to post something every day. Granted, it won’t always be something deep and profound – although I’ll certainly try, but I have a point in doing this goal of mine to post something every day: I want to encourage more of you to take up blogging. I sincerely believe that there are more writers out there than we know of. In fact, you could have a talent for writing and not know it.

The beauty of the Internet Age is that anyone can take up blogging, and it doesn’t have to cost you a thing. This site, for example, is a perfect place to take the practice up. Not only that, you will have an audience to read your stuff and give feedback on. Of course, not all of us are going to be brilliant at writing. In fact, most of us won’t be. This isn’t meant to discourage you, but rather, I want you to go into this with the right set of expectations. Writing, like any skill that involves self-expression, takes practice.

If you were just writing for yourself then you’d have no problem, because you would always know what you’re talking about. But writing in such a way as to convey your thoughts and ideas to someone else takes practice – especially if you’re trying to persuade someone to your way of thinking. There’s good ways and bad ways of presenting your view. For example, you could say “Do it my way or ELSE!” How willing would your listener be to do things your way – and even if they did, would they do it willingly?

Another way to present your view is to say “Here’s what I think and why…” Then you present your views and arguments in favor of your views. If you did your job correctly, then your listeners will be more inclined to do things your way. That’s the skill to hone when it comes to writing. There’s a lot of truth to the saying “The pen is mightier than the sword.” In our day and age in which thoughts, ideas, and concepts are reduced to bumper-sticker philosophies, it’s even more important to develop writing skills. This is because knowing how to write involves knowing how to think.

Any yutz and yahoo can write, “Hug a tree.” or “Guns don’t kill people. People with guns kill people.” but to know how to defend such ideas is another skill altogether. Note that I gave a liberal and conservative example. It’s because it is liberals and conservatives who are the most guilty of splitting the issues of our time into this liberal/conservative division. But life is not divided solely into liberal and conservative. In fact, most of life falls in between these two extremes.

People who filter their whole lives and thinking through a liberal or conservative litmus test have some sort of psychological issues that they probably should be dealing with, and the more intensely they live such politically ideological lives, the less they are able to lead normal lives . Life isn’t liberal or conservative – rather, life is BOTH liberal and conservative – and all of the points in between. Life is too short to be painting yourself into some ideological corner. Such people are like Les Nessman of the old WKRP sitcom, in which Les had taped off on the floor where the walls of his office were going to be erected, and he expected others to respect those walls, right down to knocking on his “door” before coming into his “office”.

It’s because of such people that we need more writers. We need more writers to express the views that are had in what we can refer to metaphorically as “flyover territory” to describe the gap between the two ideological extremes. By my little experiment to post something every day, you’ll see that you don’t always have to post something deep and profound. It could just be observations of recent news events, or some joke that you got by e-mail. But I do hope you try to take up blogging. You don’t even have to write every day!

By the way, so far for June, that’s 3 for 3. :-)

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