These cultural fictions of masculine haplessness and feminine culpability, which we absorb like poisonous water and dust left behind by long-dead builders, have tangible results in cases featuring women’s real-life anger and violence directed against other women instead of the men responsible for their harm.
It might sell you a few more books, but that’s not why you should do it. Do it because the more quickly this term becomes meaningless on a wide scale, the more quickly we can do away with what the very idea of a “best-seller” implies: That popular is good, that the watered-down is appealing, and that for some reason you should like the same thing everyone else likes.
Like the confident, mature artist that I am, I also checked my notifications several times in the following hours to see if I had gotten myself into an internet argument (ugh!), but no. My nemesis didn’t bother to reply. All was well in the world again.
And he also won’t keep reading if the writing is too difficult to untangle. It’s important to write conversationally as if you were speaking to a friend: address the reader with the word “you”, use contractions, use short words, avoid the passive voice, and let your personality shine through.
I have learned to become a better writer, not by reading articles about writing, but by reading the people writing on Medium. I look at their word choices, their construction. I admire their willingness to be inventive, to t…