I read a piece recently. I’m sure it was meant to be biting, witty, and critical. An advisory, piercing voice that would take a piece that had been done a thousand times and flip it into a wry analysis of life today.
I’m sure that was the intention.
What I don’t think writer’s realize, is that creating great sarcastic pieces takes the work of an almost expert. Or at the very least, not a beginner.
I’ll tell you why this is.
When you write something, and you throw in witty critiques of people and institutions that you believe are fresh, jolting, and insightful, often something completely different happens.
You sound like an asshole. It takes a very, very good writer to make the voice of sarcasm not one of spite and scorn, but a voice of clever truth.
I’ve been guilty of doing this kind of writing when I was younger, and hell, I’m probably guilty of it now. I’m not special, and whenever you write consistently you have to know that at some point, something is going to come out of your mouth that makes you look like a straight up dick.
But I try to minimize it, because I know the tendency is there.
So, if you’re a beginner writer and you feel like you’re going to champion the voice of truth, insight, and wittiness that you see a dearth of in the world of writing, hold the hell up, Tonto.
Don’t start with the difficult stuff. Because you can have the best advice in the world, but if you sound like an asshole, who’s going to listen?
Start with being helpful first. If you’re writing an advice post, write as if you were a nurturing older brother or sister that only wants the best for your reader.
Loving advice, giving advice, going, I know, I know, it sucks, but this is how life happens, man. Come here, you need a hug, dude. And then say what you know that will actually help them.
Start with that. Start with just being helpful and kind.
Then you can work in the wit and biting criticisms.