Writers, we need to think before we fire.
Calling out the malpractice of professionals criticising the articles or beliefs of others to further their own careers, as writers or otherwise.
I usually do not have much regard for “Life Coaching” articles, advising us how to live our lives, though there are occasionally some gems amongst them that maybe we should take notice of.
Apparently they can be quite lucrative, with the capability of building swathes of followers.
But I am not a professional writer.
So I’ve always tried to avoid my writing coming across as “Advice”.
This article blatantly breaks that mold.
This is advice that if listened to, would make the world a distinctly better place;
When we read an article or comment by someone else, and feel an urge to reply with criticism, we should stop right there, and ask ourselves what is driving us. We should ask the question:
What is it in us, the reason that we want to make that reply?
If our aim is to expose someone else’s logic or belief that we think might be flawed, to show how clever we are, so that we might stand out as more knowledgeable to our followers and potential followers and thus improve our careers, without actually educating our audience on something which is important to the world, we should think again.
We should ask ourselves why the person who wrote what they wrote believes what they believe, if they might be driven by money, and if that belief has a negative or positive contribution to the world.
If it doesn’t matter either way, or if their mistaken belief has a positive outcome on the world in any case, or even no effect, we should not bother commenting, other than to complement the author on their article, which was no doubt written in good faith.
On the other hand, if we can see potentially harmful effects to the world as a result of information we see in the article, we should call it out. The more well-reasoned our criticism is, the more likely it is to be heeded.
You see, most third parties reading our criticisms will already think in exactly the way I’ve advised here that we should. They will ask themselves what drives each contributor, why have they said what they’ve said?
They will follow the money where possible, and where they can; if they also see flaws in our logic, or our motive, they will conclude that the information we provided is probably false, therefore we should not be taken seriously.
Finally, if we do make a false call, and this is highlighted by someone with a reasonable counter argument, we should be willing to concede mistakes.
So, especially if you write for money, think before you reply!