An incomplete set of principles for writing that’s designed to elicit meaningful political action in these perilously disengaged times.
- Structure sets you free.
- Find, test, invent new words to posit something new. Avoid negative examples or negative characterisations. Don’t say what it’s not like; say what it is.
- Use the imperative whenever possible in an advocacy piece.
- Read while writing. Not as a practice or a habit that you maintain, but as something you’re actually doing at the very same time. Switch and switch back. Know where you are.
- Give examples.
- Power over banality. Powerful tension; paradox over straight fact.
- Use counter-intuitives to stress a truth.
- Develop an ear as well as an eye for scansion, texture, sound. Balance short and long sentences. Words.
- Create the future that the piece heralds. Write as though it is already here and expects something of us. Make a personal commitment to the future you’re always already creating.
- Plan unintended consequences.
IMAGE: Collingwood Yards under construction. Photo by Esther Anatolitis.