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Abstraction Is Stopping You From Succeeding.

Achieve conviction with these 3 methods.

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Almost everything I write about is subjective, even this article. That does not mean I should lack conviction. Let us take my own example. I write about many topics, but the most common are literature, music and writing. I am not bragging, but I like art and deep dives into the same, a lot. While that is fun, I am stranded, during almost every article, at the conclusion. I cannot conclude by saying A is better than B, or A should be B, or anything along those lines because art is subjective. Of course, I can’t. But that means I am deceiving readers, right? Do I need to write conclusions abstractly, or is there a way to have conviction when there shouldn’t really be?

Let us say I have an article titled ‘First Person V/S Third Person’ (I don’t, to be clear), the reader will expect a solid answer, with or without a detailed article. A writer, on the other hand, can easily write the whole article comparing the two ways to write, present the positives and negatives of both sides but there is no way a person not looking for negative feedback specifically will ever pick one objectively. That will lead to the following negative effects:

  • The reader will be disappointed/discontented by the article
  • The reader might not act on any of the CTA’s in the article, because you have lost the credibility as far as he/she/they are concerned.
  • that reader might leave a comment letting you know that you weren’t that good with their time. While this is rare, this might cause a detrimental effect on your mental health.

This is ridiculous. Connecting mental health to not being convictive is probably a stretch, but you get the point, it is definitely better to be convictive. Here are a few ways you could accomplish that.

Deceptively Diplomatic

This is something I see a lot, and it works for many articles, but I am not a great fan. If you are wondering what I mean by ‘Deceptively Diplomatic’, here it is.

Deceptively diplomatic is a way of giving opinions that satisfies people on all spectrums, like providing distinct circumstances for all perspectives and telling them what to do. Yeah, it is overdone, and it is still being used, but it is utilitarian, and I can’t blame those who use it, even if I don’t prefer it. To explain it better, I will provide an example through my aforementioned article. Through this method, I would have ended up with something like:

“For a story that relies on introspective thoughts and decisions, and the author has something interesting to say from the perspective of the protagonist, writing in first-person will be beneficial. For stories that rely on information, description and a small amount of perspective of more than one character, writing in third-person will be beneficial.”

This tells two tribes of people what to do, and succeeds. This will not stir any controversy, but most probably won’t evoke excitement either.

Open, But Opinionated

This one is my favourite and I have used it several times.

Let us now focus on the topic at hand. Open, but opinionated implies exactly what it sounds like. You present your opinion but are vocally aware of the fact that there are circumstances and audience for the other option(s) too. For example, if I had to use this method, the article would sound like this:

“I, personally, prefer the first-person writing, both for reading and writing. I like how I can present the weirdest of opinions and observations through a character, and not have to attach my name to it. I agree that in some circumstances, using the third person is, in fact, better. But, I think I would use first-person in most circumstances, just like Edgar Allan Poe. I know, a weird comparison, but hear me out. Edgar Allan Poe is everything I want to be. An almost god-like hold at the first-person and an absurd amount of absurdist details that add a whole another layer to his stories. If you prefer using the third person, let me know in the comments!”

I would honestly have published an article that contained this paragraph… but aside from that, can you see that I am heavily invested in first-person writing, and yet, I am open to other opinions. That is being open, but opinionated.

Controversial!

Why is there an exclamation mark? I don’t know. Let us continue. Strong opinions welcome controversy. Even the opinion that ‘We should stop cutting trees’ can be controversial, when presented strongly enough. Not that I would be against it, but that someone, somewhere, will have some mean things to say to you for even letting this thought form in your head, let alone publishing it. I know, let us jump into the example.

“I always use first person, and cannot understand why anyone would do otherwise. There is a certain quality of eeriness and independence to the writer of making their opinions public that no other voice does, including third-person. That should not even be an opinion, writing in first-person is objectively better than writing in third-person in most scenarios. I will fight my case, till I die, in the comments.”

Woah, the comments are going to be juicy. While I definitely resonate more with the previous option, this is what gets the most attention, sadly. If you prefer that, go for it. You could also use a milder version of this type, but that won’t mean anything. You aren’t passionate enough to be controversial, and you aren’t open enough to be loved, and you are not even diplomatic, which might cause boredom.

One thing that writers need to remember is that controversy causes excitement, whether positive or negative, but boredom causes annoyance. And you don’t want to annoy your ‘customers’, or readers, whichever way you perceive it.

Conclusion

So what is the best way to avoid grey area? I would say it is subjective, and you should think of it case by case, thank you!

Gotcha! Sorry, I am trying to write humour since last month, so this was my try. Anyway, I think the ‘Open, But Opinionated’ is your best bet in most cases, as it both lets your opinion, also known as your personality, shine and presents an opportunity for the reader to connect, present their opinion and have a healthy discussion. But, you are, of course, invited to let your thoughts flow in the comments section.

See what I did there? Anyway, hey! I have a newsletter now! It will be a monthly email, a kind of monologue about literature, writing, philosophy, and music, linking the articles I found most useful. It will be delivered on the 19th of every month. Do Subscribe if you are interested.

That’s it then!

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M.A. Mercier

M.A. Mercier

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I am MA Mercier. I am interested in anything and everything! I am here to write about things that amaze me, things I am curious about.