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Friday, 11 December 2009

How to write stuff people read

A friend wrote (very amusingly)about the blog written by someone close to her - and asked me what I think he should do - as follows.

He has been writing what he thinks - and as she put it -

It has landed him not just in hot water but in a scalding vat of oil.

He has managed to get himself barred from his local pub, alienated half the local female population (admittedly not hard, given the touchiness of this breed of woman), embroiled himself in somebody else’s employment tribunal and, last but not least, have the editor of the local newspaper phone and scream ‘Libel’ down the phone (he just expressed the very valid opinion that this particular rag was a pile of steaming crap).

Yet if you read the articles, you would think them fairly harmless.

One good thing – he is getting plenty of traffic in his infamy.

However he is quite bewildered by the buckets of vitriol being chucked at him from different corners.

Does he continue to basically say what he really thinks and hang them all? Or should he adopt a more anodyne, a milder approach and stick to subjects such as bronze age monoliths (where the only people you could offend have been buried for 3000 years in stone cairns)?

As you can all imagine, I was flattered to be asked. My view is that if there is nobody he has his eye on among the local witches and the pub is nothing special he should take the advice given by Polonius in Hamlet: This above all: to thine own self be true.

He should do what he thinks is right. And it certainly will continue to get him more and more readers, which I guess is why he is writing.

My view is that if you're not offending someone you're probably boring everyone. Which is why most blogs are not read.

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