How to read (and then to write)

By Don Watkins

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Learn to Read

If you want to communicate ideas effectively, try this:

Thinking and Writing

“Okay, Watkins. But how does a writer do that?”

Example: The Bad

For example, take the issue of conservatives accusing Silicon Valley companies of “censorship” and threatening to make them host views those companies don’t want to promote.

  • Those rights include free speech and property rights
  • Silicon Valley is exercising free speech on its property
  • Therefore, the government is wrong to tell Silicon Valley what speech to promote on its property”

Example: The Good

What’s the right way to approach writing on this topic? How would you answer the question, “What steps will my audience have to go through to get this from reality — given their existing values and beliefs?”

The Idea, Not the Philosophy

Obviously, that’s not an outline. But what I hope you’re seeing is what it looks like to think about how to persuade: you have a conclusion you’ve reached from your philosophic context, but your total focus is on how to get the audience to see the truth of your idea given its context.

The Next Frontier

What I’ve been discussing is your basic orientation as a persuader: is it to recap your philosophic framework or to help your audience grasp your conclusion from reality?

Key Takeaways

Communication follows thinking. First, you need to get clear on the truth from your philosophic context.

Writer. Speaker. Thinker.

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