Why Should They Care?
This is the best writing (or storytelling) advice I’ve ever come across. And it could change the way you’ll ever write anything to anyone from now on.
As I was surfing the rabbit hole of Youtube, I stumbled upon this lecture titled: The Craft of Writing Effectively by Larry McEnerney. It was an hour and twenty minutes long! So I guess I’ll save it for a later watch, along with another 200 videos on the list. But wait, let me just watch the first five minutes, maybe it’s not worth the wait. I discovered early on that it’s more tailored towards academic and post-grad writing. However, he was solving problems I related to, and with his storytelling and dramatic delivery captivated me or made me care to watch until the end of the lecture.
I’ll summarize here my favorite three take-aways:
1. You might naturally use your writing to help yourself think about the world. But if your goal is to change the reader’s view of the world, you have to change your approach. ✍️
When I privately journal in my Blackbook, I’m writing for my self to clarify my thinking while documenting a few highlights of my day. But when I’m writing or telling stories to someone else or to the public, I need to change that approach. Which takes me to he second take away.
2. Writing is not about communicating your ideas; it’s about changing readers’ ideas. 🤔
Unlike journalists, most of us are not writing or telling stories merely to convey information or an account of events. We are expressing our thinking and opinions in a fashion that we hope the receiver will also change their view and align with us in their view of the world (or call to action).
3. If you are not SOLVING A PROBLEM or ADDING VALUE to the reader, then simply they will not care. 🤷♂️
This nugget is my favorite of them all, hence the title. – The challenge is that the way we do our writing (to help with our thinking) is different from the way readers can understand.
We have to identify the target audience and write in a language that the audience wants emotionally. If we write just for ourselves, it’s all over for the audience. People get annoyed, bored, and stop reading — but please don’t do that!
So the next time you are about to write a blog, a text message, a proposal, or even tell a joke over dinner, which is a brilliant way to solve problems (or relief pain). ask your self:
What Problem am I solving? Why should they care?