If you’ve been following our website for a while, or you’ve just chanced upon it, you’ll be aware that we value the art and privilege of self-expression. Free speech is an absolute cornerstone of our culture, and when it is taken away from us, it often signals macabre intent. However, the unwillingness to speak can also be just as bad as the inability to speak. Of course, we’re not suggesting you jump on a soap box about every little issue you read about. Sometimes we’re simply not as informed as we should be to express an intelligent opinion.
However, we are often told that listening is ten times as valuable as expressing ourselves. Now, this can be very true. But we must also ask ourselves – who are we listening to? Sometimes allowing ourselves to put our ideas into a discussion platform and have them challenged can open our minds and help us learn new things, or further reinforce our belief in the validity of our ideas.
There is absolutely no shame in expressing yourself, even if you’re not hugely informed on a topic. Your intent should be to listen, learn, and understand. It should be to challenge. It should be to ask questions. If more people did this society would be flowering with free thinkers, as opposed to easily-led and commonly accepted views.
It’s important to know how to write. There are better and worse ways to express your ideas. You will naturally find how this works the more you attempt to do so. Before long, overly flowery descriptions become insightful passages that make use of brevity. You can learn this by reading the writings of others. Hunter S Thompson, notorious and famous gonzo journalist, found his writing style by typing out entire novels such as The Great Gatsby word for word on his typewriter. His intention was ‘to learn the music of the author’s mind.’
You can do this to a degree, and add a little of your own flair. The more you’re surrounded by great work, the more you understand the pillars holding it up. You could do this by following a specific writer you like (such as music reviewers,) reading a certain publication, or simply opening yourself up to newer and more creative forms of writing on a daily basis. If hoping to follow this Hunter example from earlier, be sure to set up your home office effectively. For great deals on printer ink and toner, visit Cartridge People – this way you can form your own stack of physical writing. It’s good not to limit yourself to the digital writing space. Writing shouldn’t be overtly expensive.
Organizing your thoughts is also an important thing to do. People learn this when writing college papers, but then rarely use that skill in further career development, unless specifically needing to publish papers or other forms of report with a specific lexicon. This means writing down everything you wish to state, and finding the most reductive and powerful version of that idea. This allows you to find the common core of each idea and perception, and then learn how those relate. When you can communicate those effectively with the least amount of fluff added, your argument becomes watertight, or at least refined enough to become respected. Even those with completely wrong opinions can have their writing vindicated to some degree by common form.
This is why no matter which political belief you adhere to, anyone can understand the beautiful language and excellence of expressed ideas from both a communist and staunch capitalist opposite set of manifestos. You might hate one ideology (or all of them,) but to neglect the power of a digested and well thought through argument is to ignore the power of this over the course of history.
Every step you take will inform your understanding, and each piece you publish will develop you as a writer. Just be sure to defend your ideas, and be ready to stand by or have them changed in search of the truth!
With this effort, your ideas should make a difference in no time.