WRITING TIPS AND TRICKS
Dear Writer, Get Down off Your Damn Soapbox And Relate
All the experts in the house are asked to step outside
My writing experiment today is to start typing without a clear topic and see where the flow leads me. The last time I did, I was able to produce an entire story in under ten minutes that turned out to be not bad at all. So let’s see what happens — hopefully, there will be some success without me getting on my soapbox or rambling without a clear goal or end in sight.
What does it mean to get on one’s soapbox anyway? According to Wikipedia, in the past, a soapbox was literally used to stand on when a person wished to make a speech and needed to elevate himself to attract the desired audience.
Nowadays, we use the term to refer to someone who considers himself an expert on a particular topic and uses his gift — or otherwise, of speech to forcefully present himself to an audience, and getting on one’s soapbox suggests a know-it-all. The person is not encouraging a conversation but expounding on a given topic, disallowing any comments or interactions from the audience. He or she expects rapt attention with a hint of awe.
I mount my soapbox at times especially on issues that I am passionate about. I use my blog post to dominate a conversation where I am the speaker and the reader is the listener — devouring my words while nodding in agreement. Oh, how rarefied is the air at the top of my box!
Many times as I dig into my fifth paragraph, just warming up, something stops me and reminds me that I am having a conversation with the reader. I am speaking with them and not at them. So I slow down, adjust my tone, gingerly step down from my box and kindly ask, “so what you do want to talk about today?”
I. Trudie Palmer