Editor’s Picks— Top 10: Never Write Personal Opinions in Your Stories

Writing is similar to acting when it comes to professional writing

Dew Langrial
Dec 16, 2020 · 10 min read
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You can disagree with me but first hear me out.

Your personal experiences and your opinions are sacred. They are right as far as you can tell. I know most of us will die fighting trying to protect our beliefs.

But your personal opinions belong to your personal journal. They belong to you. Don’t reveal them to everybody. People may not be interested in your opinion if they don’t know you.

But if you are a celebrity — you are already internet famous — your readers will trust your opinions. If you are starting, try to back your assertions with research or quotes from other well-established writers.

Your readers would read more of your stories if they thought you always provide reliable sources. They’d be willing to give you their five minutes only if they thought you’d save them ten minutes if they searched for everything themselves.

You can share your experiences but whenever you want to say something — that is an opinion — try to find a reputable authority. It is easy since Google is always there to help you.

In the early days of your writing career, you should stick to this rule.

But then I think all of us should stick to this rule — always. The largest active publication on Medium is The Startup. In their submission guidelines, they write, “Unless you’re Elon Musk, you’ll need something to hang your hat on. On second thought, we’d probably ask Musk for links to sources, too. Because even the best writers back their facts up with references — be it published research or expert opinion. Include links to sources that support the factual assertions in your writing.”

If The Startup editors are not ready to publish Elon Musk’s assertions without a source, it means the readers don’t trust even celebrities. Readers trust nothing but a credible source.

One trick that I have cleverly come up with — to let people benefit from my wisdom — is to write heavily researched articles but now and then publish an opinion piece. But the response has not been good. The readers read if your story is mercilessly edited and heavily researched.

Please do correct me if my analysis is wrong. I welcome you to disagree.

Here is the list of Top 10 stories written by people who know how to write a credible piece:

10. How to Become a Constant Learner on a Daily Basis

Godofredo Rojas is a coach and a writer. His style is singularly engaging. You must read and understand the spirit of his story if you want to succeed in life.

I wonder what the difference between ordinary and extraordinary people is? Do they have any superpower that differentiates them from others?

When I started reding books about successful entrepreneurs, I realized all of them have something in common. They are constant learners. In their interviews or articles, you realize how they talk, the way they listen, they have something different.

It is a not coincidence that ordinary people refuse to learn, listen, and if someone has a different viewpoint, they ignore or build a fence. Most people don’t have the humility to understand that they can learn something new every day.

9. Hindsight is the Best Teacher Ever

Liz Porter is a corporate girl gone solopreneur. She wants to inspire and entertain her readers. Her style is charming, educating, and delightful. Don’t forget to read his other stories as well.

He popped the tab on his Coke can with one hand and gave me a little smirk as he took his first sip.

I didn’t know Logan well; he was just another co-worker sharing the lunchroom. A few seats away from mine, he munched away on his roast beef sandwich without a word.

There was a TV on the far wall, just noise to me, but he seemed to be following it and chuckled along with the audience.

My lunch, long since abandoned, was pushed aside as I sat alone mindlessly flipping through a Cosmopolitan.

8. The Secret Suffering of C.S. Lewis

A.M. Cal is an award-winning producer and a master of arts in film. Her style is learned and deep. She is a superb writer. If you missed reading this masterpiece, here is your chance to undo that.

In his book, The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis summarizes the paradox of good and evil. He argues that pain, suffering, and hell are not sufficient reasons to reject the belief in an all powerful, benevolent creator. The partial theodicy gives readers insight concerning the differing perspective of God and his creation, stating, “if God were good, he would make his creatures perfectly happy, and if he were almighty he would be able to do what he wished. But the creatures are not happy. Therefore God lacks either goodness, or power, or both (p. 88).” It should be considered that Lewis does not claim to have a solution to this problem as humans cannot reach a full understanding of why God allows evil. A difficult childhood, Lewis was no stranger to grief and suffering throughout his life.

7. What First Responders Want You To Know About Covid-19 (I Think)

Emily Kingsley is an excellent writer. She is humble and honest. You’ll love her story. Don’t miss this one.

I’m not a first responder, but I’m married to one. In a way, that makes me a first responder to a first responder. While he responds to your emergencies, I’m the one who is waiting at home to help him celebrate the good calls, process the bad calls, and keep everything in perspective so he can go to work again the next day.

My husband is the type of paramedic that you really hope shows up when your dad has a heart attack or your toddler wakes up covered in hives.

6. I Traded My Car for A Plane Ticket To Alaska

Another one from Emily Kingsley. You cannot ignore her. Read her.

I’ve known a lot of guys named Steve before. But only one of the Steves I’ve known had the right combination of je ne sais quoi and body odor to earn the name Steve-O. I don’t know what’s so powerful about that stupid uppercase O, but to say that a Steve is the same as a Steve-O is like saying there’s no difference between a thoroughbred racehorse and the metal pony you can pay a quarter to ride outside the grocery store.

We’ve all had a friend like Steve-O before. Steve-O is the guy who shows up late without any money but can still make everybody laugh. He’s the kind of friend who isn’t good looking or charming but lights up the room anyway. One night when a group of us went out for wings, we looked down to see Steve-O wearing two matching left flip-flops. It was unsettling and nobody knew how it happened, but that’s just how you roll when you are a Steve-O.

5. Don’t Worry, AI is Never Going to Turn on Humanity

Alice Audie is a superb writer. You can definitely learn to hook your reader from her. She grabs you and mesmerizes you to read on until you finish her story. I said it elsewhere, ‘Well-written stories take less time to read,’ — it applies in this case. Don’t miss it.

I summoned my Google Assistant and asked her to play a song for me while my hands were busy with cooking. She put on the wrong song.

So I called her stupid.

“I’m so sorry, it won’t happen again”, was her reply.

I immediately felt guilty for insulting her (I had chosen the female voice). “Sorry, I didn’t mean that. You’re the smartest ever”, I said. She thanked me for the compliment and went back to her robot business, my temporary song-induced rage forgiven and forgotten.

4. Ethereum 2.0 is Out Now, But Can It Beat Bitcoin?

Isaiah McCall is a USA Today reporter and he loves to write about cryptocurrency. He is not a writer you should ignore. Since cryptocurrency is the future of all money, think of him as your money guru.

He can make you rich if you read his other work. Don’t forget to follow him.

Ether, the world’s second-largest virtual currency is on the move — and it’s making investors rich. Earlier this week Ethereum 2.0 launched and will make Ether faster and more secure. The upgrade allows for thousands of more transactions to take place every second.

This year, Ether is up 350%. Furthermore, it brushed an all-time high of $600 for the first time since June 2018. In case you don’t have $19,000 laying around to invest in Bitcoin, now may be the best time to look into Ether.

3. OneCoin — The $4 Billion Scam

Jason Ward is a freelance journalist, author, and writer. I have selected his other stories in the past lists. He is such a brilliant writer that you can’t ignore his work.

This story tells you about one of the most successful con women in the world. I hope more women will follow her example! Just kidding. Enjoy

Dr Ruja Ignatova was known as the ‘Cryptoqueen’ and in a three-year period, managed to fleece her investors of an incredible $4 billion USD before disappearing. Her whereabouts are still unknown.

This is the remarkable story of ‘OneCoin’, one of the greatest scams ever committed.

2. Who is Nick Hanauer and Why Should We Listen to Him

Janice Maves an essayist and a thinker. I am introducing her as an accomplished writer, but she is introducing another amazing guy, Nick Hanauer. Her writing style is engaging and thought-provoking. Do check her other work.

There are few people that I listen to in this world with rapt attention. When I was young I certainly didn’t listen to my parents with any level of full attention, nor to my teachers nor other authority figures. The leads I followed were those of pop culture and popularity. Teenagers do that. Adults have a responsibility to delve a bit deeper.

Hearing Nick Hanauer being interviewed on NPR made me curious about him. Being good at 21st century research, I Googled him and listened to a 2014 TED talk he gave. It both amazed and delighted me that this self described plutocrat is worth listening to. Most rich guys are just assholes hoping to increase their self worth. Hanauer, however, is a rich guy who wants everyone in our society to reap the benefits that led to his wealth, for perfectly selfish reasons.

3 Reasons Why Our System is Working Against Black-Owned Businesses

At number one, you can read Thom Gallet. He writes optimistic unsolicited advice — his words. His style is simple, direct, and engaging. If you like this story, do check his other work. He is an excellent addition to your reading list.

He is writing about an important matter today. Don’t miss this one.

Alright, let’s get one thing straight; I’m coming at this topic with a lot of privilege. Not only in my race, but in my gender, wealth, and basically everything else that being a straight white male affords me.

I have no intention to represent people of colour or speak on their behalf. I’m writing from my perspective on why I believe this is an issue and should be addressed.

I firmly think it is our, the privileged individuals’ job, to amplify the message that our society is failing marginalized people.

Final Thoughts

If your story was selected as one of the Top 10, please share another one of your stories in the comments with a brief introduction and a short review that can convince a reader to read your piece. (Please write the review in the third person and start it with your name.)

I must have missed something today. I cannot read every story on Illumination and Illumination-Curated. Dr Mehmet Yildiz, the Chief Editor and Founder of Illumination and Illumination-Curated, read, highlighted, and applauded every good story when he started his publications. He still reads almost all of the good ones. I try — and fail daily — to read all of the masterpieces.

So, help me. Help me to find and rank the best work of the writers of Illumination and Illumination-Curated.

Happy reading.

To improve your chances of success as a writer, read these highly recommended curation guidelines:

You can read my curated stories here.

ILLUMINATION-Curated

ILLUMINATION-Curated hosts outstanding stories of advanced writers covering 100+ topics.

Dew Langrial

Written by

Living life in awe of it all. Hoping to make sense. A Thinker, Writer & Storyteller. Working on my tech startup.

ILLUMINATION-Curated

Outstanding stories objectively and diligently selected by 40+ senior editors on ILLUMINATION

Dew Langrial

Written by

Living life in awe of it all. Hoping to make sense. A Thinker, Writer & Storyteller. Working on my tech startup.

ILLUMINATION-Curated

Outstanding stories objectively and diligently selected by 40+ senior editors on ILLUMINATION

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