Wick Communications

Writing with passion

In Writing on 11 Nov 2010 at 5:28 pm

On the day after an estimated one million people turned out for a parade to celebrate the San Francisco Giants’ World Series championship (did I not mention the Giants are the World Series champs!?), this was the most read story on the San Francisco Chronicle’s Web site.

It’s not about the champs. It’s not about the parade that brought the city to a halt. It’s a column, a bit of a screed really, addressed to young Democrats who sat out the midterm elections. It begins:

Oh, now you’ve done it.

See? You see what happens when you young liberal voters get so disgruntled and disillusioned that you drop all your party’s newborn, hard-won ideas about Hope™ and Change™, without any patience, without really giving them sufficient time to mature, without understanding that hugely foreign, anti-American concept known as “the long view”?

Columnist Mark Morford captured a bit of the zeitgeist with his piece. It’s personal, it’s passionate and it’s really, really readable. It is not, of course, standard news fare, and I’m not suggesting you write your news stories this way… not exactly.

But I am suggesting you can add some spice to your writing in a bald-faced attempt to grab readers by the eyeballs…

I saw a similar call for passion this week from a blog maintained by the New Hampshire Writers’ Network. The author – who for some reason goes by the name “suddenly jamie” – extols the virtues of slam poetry and mentions a rather famous and powerful piece by a poet named Katie Makkai (that’s her in the photo.) Jamie notes that the passion in the poetry is a lesson for all writers and I think so, too.

As always, I think reading is the key to better writing. Seek out passionate writers. Your own writing will improve as if by magic.



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