"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

5 Ways to "Rock" a Rant Without Alienating Readers


---”Shout, shout, let it all out. These are the things I can do without!”
--Tears for Fears (1985)
 

Writers are natural communicators.
It’s how we connect.
In some cases, it’s how we correct!

Whether we’re penning romantic poetry to the object of our affection, writing a complaint letter in an effort to improve poor customer service, or crafting book reviews to share our love of literature, words make us feel empowered, validated and “heard“.

Which is why “RANTS” are a popular choice for today’s bloggers.
A Rant is simply defined as: “Something said in a loud or aggressive manner.” Or think of it as a commentary piece with bite.

Though the reasons for rants are as varied as the people who write them, here are some of the most common reasons writers rant:
  • Because “misery loves company.”
  • It makes us feel empowered. We can’t control our bosses, work lives, or escalating gas prices, but we do own our thoughts, blogs and opinions.
  •  It allows us to form alliances with people who share our struggles and philosophies.
  • It’s often cathartic and relieves stress.
Done correctly, rants can rally support for an important cause, increase awareness of overlooked social issues (i.e. help for the homeless, education reform), and potentially “win friends and influence people.”

But, lack savvy here, and you may come across as bitter, emotionally immature, and in need of a good therapist. And even worse, it wastes your readers’ valuable time; which translates into potential lost revenue as well as readers’ confidence.



Here’s an example of a rant I wrote, months ago, (for example) that deals with issues writers face:

http://south85journal.com/2015/10/writing-like-motherhood-is-a-thankless-job/

Rants are a great way to use your platform to make some noise and make a difference. With this in mind, here are a few practices and principles that can help you
“sound-off” without sounding silly.

1. Make it relevant to your readership.In other words, if your blog is about writing, your readers may care less about the dispute you’re having with your Condo Association or save the whales campaign.

2. Stop the profanity insanity!
It’s perfectly possible to get the gravity of your point across without using 4-letter words. Hell! Besides, you just never know who could be reading. A church member? Your in-laws? Your kids? Hello!
  
3. Use humor when applicable.
Try to show the lighter side of things. A tasteful joke or funny anecdote often works.
  
4. Remember the acronym W.I.I.F.M.
In other words what’s in it for me as a reader? What’s the value of your vent? What lessons can you impart? Did you enlighten? Entertain? Empower?
 
5. Remember, rants can be powerful weapons in the daily battles of a writer’s life.
Use them wisely (and sparingly) for optimal results. Elevate…don’t escalate.
 
 
F.Y.I.-- there’s a bonus here. Rants can even be repurposed. That’s right. Many of my rants have been “tweaked” and submitted to publications and anthologies that accept commentary pieces and personal essays. And yours can too.
So the next time you’re “hot under the collar” about something, rock a Rant.
It might be the perfect way to “ignite” a movement and express your ideas with passion and purpose.

 
HERE ARE A FEW MARKETS THAT ACCEPT QUALITY RANTS AND PERSONAL ESSAYS (FOR PAY)

WRITERS WEEKLY LINK:
 http://writersweekly.com/this-weeks-article/10-paying-creative-non-fiction-markets-for-writers-how-to-break-into-creative-non-fiction-writing-including-links-to-paying-markets-by-flora-ojow

In closing...
 TEARS FOR FEARS- (My anthem for rants) Shout, Shout!

Have a great week.




 

 

4 comments:

  1. Excellent points, Jen. As you said, the key is balance and class. Thanks so much for sharing this with us. Happy weekend!

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  2. Jennifer: This sums up a lot of concerns that a not-so-beginning writer could have. We all have had moments of doubt. I thoroughly enjoyed the 'rant' you did in October.

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    Replies
    1. Glad to hear this, Celeste. Great to connect today. Now I just have to find out what rant I did in October. LOL

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