Reflections on writing 'What George Santos reveals about our democracy'
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Writers need to consider the context of their readers’ experience — even if not everybody recognizes a liar right in front of our noses. (Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash)
During the years that I led the editorial boards of two Upstate newspapers, I hoped that we might articulate points of view that would lead our communities, but lead from nearby. That is, we needed to speak truth about what we considered important without blazing a path that would separate us at a great distance from our readers.
That strikes me now as pretty good advice for just about any writer focusing on public issues: to practice the humility of honoring the context of our readers’ lives while confidently writing to expand their view. It has to do with the line between self-expression and self-absorption. That is, we can write boldly and hope to stretch our readers’ thinking, but if we write without regard for the context of their experience, we’d better prepare to be satisfied with an audience of one.