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Why Write, Why Speak

Why Write, Why Speak

After enjoying an enriching and stimulating day being guided through the art of writing informative and engaging opinion pieces courtesy of Guardian Masterclasses, I am anxious to immediately test out the new techniques and write a piece to share my new found knowledge.

But first I sought to validate my content, and asked a close friend of mine what she would like to hear about the course, I hope this piece meets her expectation but also gives others pause for thought.

My friend gave me two clear requirements

Firstly, make this easy to read and capture the content in concise form.

In response I have created a list of sound bites. My apologies to the fantastic speakers for my clumsy paraphrasing.

Secondly, give me a call to action.

As it turns out the list, now I’ve compiled it, really serves not only as a guide to writing, but also a guide to how we communicate generally, which feels like an on going call to action to maintain humility in our interactions with the world.

  • Comment is free but fact is sacred.
  • Be kind and avoid cheap laughs.
  • Write what people want to hear not what you want to write.
  • Nothing can be gained from trying to sound cleverer than you feel.
  • Create something which stands up in its own right and isn’t just a response to somebody else’s comment.
  • Dance to the music you want to dance to, not the music you think you should dance to.
  • Talk about things which are genuinely interesting not unpleasant or personal.
  • Question the assumption that everyone is you.
  • Nothing will change just by considering opposing opinions to be idiotic.
  • Compare yourself to your best self.
  • Base your opinions on your core set of beliefs.
  • Don’t put on a false persona, it won’t be sustainable.
  • Become known as a trusted voice.

All of which I think can be précised to

Use your own voice, be kind and strive to enrich lives.

With very great thanks to Tim DowlingDaisy BuchananSophie HeawoodHannah Jane Parkinson and Polly Toynbee.