Writing: Always a Welcome Port in the Storm

Writing is a Welcome Port in the Storm

We have all this “history in the making” and amped up social angst. So, the craft of writing is abuzz. More than usual, writing is a welcome port in the storm of life and social exchange.

I am passionate about writing and have been taking stock of options to improve mine. This leans into how and why I write, as some have asked. Today’s topics are special only in that I share them with you:

  • Hybrid explanatory journalism
  • Write on with blogs
  • Social and personal goodness

Hybrid Explanatory Journalism

Don’t worry; it is not all that complicated. Let me explain. I added the ‘hybrid’ descriptor, by the way.

You might be aware of explanatory writing; an approach with process implications. I’m letting explanatory journalism influence my craft. As google says, it seeks to explain a topic to readers by analyzing and evaluating information. In some circles it is encouraged with students because it prompts them to research.

This explanatory gist won’t always shake the earth, but it is always safe and good, which is especially important when truth and reality are getting thrashed about. In these times, everything either helps or hurts our shared understanding and truth. You could think of straightforward explanations as the antidote to ‘wokeness’ or ‘semi-fascist’ trickery. It’s a deliberate return to solid basics. A port in the storm. For peace and love.

Journalism has a special edge and responsibility for people needing information, so diligent truthful explanation is paramount. I shape my hybrid explanatory journalism with respect to the four fundamental established writing styles, depending on the immediate writing objective. I try not to drift too far from explanation.

Explanatory journalism/writing can be seen as extending the traditional expository writing style, in part through an emphasis on context; like “where’d you get your data?” Here is the best short piece I have seen describing these writing styles and giving examples.

Explanatory journalism has been evolving and shows increasing promise as a port in the storm. It is a soothing balm on the travails now being suffered by teaching efforts and truth-telling. Explanatory journalism is articulated here, by Roy Peter Clark, as power on the road to civic clarity.

Writing has not yet been consumed by nefarious forces like censorship or out-of-control artificial intelligence; these are serious looming threats. Responsible individuals are still the source and hope for goodness and truth. So, truth-based do-gooders, you are vital as independent journalists. I hope you endure.

Anyone who puts out information targeted or accessible to the public needs to demonstrate that this privilege comes with responsibilities. Under the weight of social media, we are all essentially journalists, needing to be hyper-mindful. There ought to be a law, an enforced one, soon as the country stabyouilizes.

As I see it, hybrid explanatory journalism does not embrace a political party, let alone cross the line into propaganda. It also serves to remind of the line between fiction and non-fiction.

Write On with Blogs

Write on. I mean: Right on! To express strong support, approval, or encouragement.

I really just want to write and have my effort seen and received by an audience of thinking caring people. When I started making time for writing, I was not sure that a blog was the right way to go, especially since I basically had to do it on-the-cheap. Plus, I am by myself, and I my technical savvy is sometimes questionable. Even back in the day at startup, blogs seemed a tad passé. And a lot of work.

A blog can be a port in the storm of writing; depicts a woman blinking.

But then I heard that, if you want to have an audience or a market for your sooner-or-later-to-come book, you need an audience, and a blog can magically produce one (slightly winking). So, I have dabbled for years and made about every mistake (not winking a bit).

I really wish content were truly king and I didn’t have to mess with marketing. But here I am, a meager guy dancing around the edges, looking for a solidly productive platform to publish my work and garner subscriptions. If I manage to find the right sufficiently beasty platform, there might be some reward of a bigger audience.

Looking for my blog-life port in the storm.

It is reassuring to see a new resilience in blogs; I think I see that; I know I want to. I can’t help but carry on since I am still writing the best content nobody (almost) ever reads. Hah.

In my case, as it is for many writers, it comes down to WordPress versus Substack, or maybe some cross-publishing combo. This is what I am trying to sort out.

Substack has the strong appeal of letting me just write, and a clear path to building subscriptions. But WordPress, where I have struggled along, allows more control. And the again, there is some clean-start appeal to Substack. These two have different paths to subscriptions and revenue. We’ll see where it goes.

If you would like to hear more about my travels (travails?) in the blog sphere, let me know. The bottom-line good news is that blogs are actually not passé. A blog is an alive-and-well writing option, and platform options for supporting them are improving. Now, please excuse me as I get back to that content.

Social and Personal Goodness

We donned our hind legs and started working our big brains. Then writing became an outlet and a tool on multiple levels. In our quest for betterment and survival, writing gets subjected to highly variable uses and abuses. I suggest we use it proactively for positive goodness, to grow the love that sustains us as thinking caring people.

From our childhoods and through the generations, we hear that metonymic quip, “the pen is mightier than the sword.” With either the pen or the sword, you always impose on yourself and the people at large. The pen is easy to rank as gentler or more noble, but can be deadly and a purveyor of the most sophisticated traps. In fact, the psychology of picking up a pen for express purposes has commonality with that of picking up a gun. The gun and the pen both walk that wobbly line connecting personal and social welfare.

Let’s assume you are trying to help preserve freedom and prosperity through your written word; what might you do? First, make sure of what you are trying to accomplish. If you are trying to inform or influence, you are essentially a newscaster or a journalist, not an entertainer. Fact based, and not jumping on topics or stances for the sake of popularity, not promoting for hard-hearted reasons. Do your research. I suggest being as altruistic as you can, since there is already a super-abundance of division and vindictiveness.

So finally, love is the port in the storm. Writing is a good vessel to get you to safe harbor.

Thanks, and I hope you have enjoyed; let me know your view and maybe forward this along!