Sunday, July 1, 2012

Writing From Your Knees

I was far more diplomatic in my early days as a blogger. I never used assertive language, always qualified my statements, and I always backed down when readers disagreed with me.

I wrote like a wuss.

Granted, there are advantages to writing like a wuss. I never made my readers mad at me, which seemed liked a good thing at the time. Then again, I didn't have any readers back then.

It took me a couple of years to develop the confidence and the writing voice to say things with force and weight. And as I stopped qualifying and weakening the things I wrote, I began to face conflict--sometimes strong conflict--from readers.

And I went right back to writing like a wuss.

After that, it took me another year to realize I had it all backwards. Conflict and strong reactions from readers is a good sign, not a bad sign. It means that you've hit a nerve. It means that you've stimulated them enough to talk back to you.

All this time I'd been living on my knees, afraid to make strong statements. I was afraid my readers would get mad at me.

Die on your feet, don't live on your knees. Decide what to say, and then say it in the strongest possible voice. Your readers will respect you more. Even the ones who get mad and quit reading you.