So often, I see a piece start off with some dictionary definition of the concept or word to be discussed.
It’s a crutch:
– Avoid coming up with an original introduction,
– Vaguely establish credibility and/or authority, and/or
– Make sure an article has at least one respectable citation.
The problem: it’s SO boring, so clichéd, so obvious and expected, and it usually tells readers something they already know. Who feels drawn in by such a dull crutch? Not a great lead!
I often move on when I see such. Like many of us, I do lots of scanning, and if my initial impression is weak, game over, on to the next item. I can look things up in a Dictionary myself. That first line us the most important in the whole piece, as often enough it decides whether I’ll ever see the rest.
It pays to try harder. If you want to write, WRITE! Right?
Even if you fail, fall on your face, and often – don’t all of us who try? – you’re far better off leading with your own voice, not some dry recitation from some source. Effort builds growth, risks pay off in time, and every once in a while, you just might hit a home run. Wow! What a moment. Exists in no dictionary…
You can’t do it from the bench. And dictionary definition intros, to me at least, sounds like idle chatter from the bench. Not from the batter’s box, where all eyes watch you – ALL! – as you take each swing…
That’s writing for yourself, introducing YOUR ideas on YOUR terms with YOUR words. That’s aiming for a home run with every swing.
That’s where the action lies. The rewards. The magic. Nothing dull there.
I say yes, no doubt, no regrets.
My source? For better or worse, me. Why not? If I don’t trust “me”, who else should? Why write if your ideas don’t count for something? We can doubt – everyone does, I certainly do and often – but not try? No, I reject that plan. Take swing after swing!
How about you?
Let me know. Your ideas matter.
Take a chance. Aim for the bleachers!
Live a little. Speak! Live.
What else is life for, but to live?