Ever have a moment where you want to jump on the soapbox and start ranting?
From rude behavior to society's injustices, we've probably all been tempted. While I believe that these episodes are opportunities to build character and patience, I think they also offer a host of writing possibilities.
For example, while attending a funeral years ago, I witnessed an interesting faux pas by someone paying their respects. To be fair, it wasn't horrible; funerals are awkward and people are often at a loss as to how to behave. I was probably only attuned to this hiccup in decorum because the service was for my sister.
I wasn't upset, but rather, inspired. My thoughts turned to writing an article, perhaps entitled Five Things Not to Do at a Funeral. Once the brainstorming began for that idea, I had others, and was pleased that an event that could have sparked a soapbox speech provided a creative opportunity instead.
Another example resulted in my recent post, The Publishing Journey, Reflections and Lessons. The adventure with my first publisher yielded good things. It was also a bumpy road, with opportunities for soapbox rants. Months later, I penned the post, reflecting on lessons learned. My goal - to share insight and tips, helping writer friends make wise, informed choices.
Soapbox topics can be tricky. They generate a host of emotions. Tact, of course, is necessary. What purpose does a blistering speech serve if it turns readers off? An emotional and thought provoking commentary, done right, can speak to readers in a unique way. Not everyone will agree with the stance, but well written prose should garner respect and offer takeaway value.
There are two key tips I heed before publishing any work generated by an emotional topic or event:
Give it time - Writing when emotions run high isn't a bad thing. But it's usually not a good idea to commit to a final draft in a highly emotional state. Whether a blog post or article, text, email, or social media rant, it's better to check those emotions and see how it looks after letting it rest a while.
Get another opinion - A perspective outside the realm of one's heart and head can offer valuable counsel and feedback. Even if this person shares your opinion, they can be the voice of reason, sharing insight, helping your written words convey a balanced message.
With care, caution, and class, pet peeves and emotional topics, whether big or small, can provide great opportunities for us writers.
What writing ideas do your soapbox rants generate? How was your Thanksgiving? What are you working on this week?
Photo credit: Free Images - Peter Galbraith