Tuesday, 31 July 2012

To rant or not to rant?

I had a really interesting mini debate today with a fellow on twitter who thought my article for the Guardian today was like a 'sleeping pill' and 'lacked real passion'. I think the only way you improve your work is to seek constructive criticism good or bad so I asked him to expand on his point.

He argued that: "If you were writing about your family would you be passionate? Well, we are all family" To start with what a fantastic sentiment - we should write as if every issue we write about affected a family members and our writing would subsequently have strength, passion and conviction.

Except I choose to rant to my husband about the injustices in the world and rein in that fervour when I write on disability issues as I believe that a moderate, balanced tone, backed up with stats and facts, is more likely to get people to question their own convictions.

It is easy to preach to the converted but if we want the Government to change its attitude to the disabled we need the wider public to get on board with the horrendous cuts and negative rhetoric disabled people are facing these days. I think the best way to do that is to come across as the voice of reason, leaving the Government to embarrass themselves with their discriminatory attitudes.

But what do you all think: is it best to rant or not to rant? I'd love to hear from other people who write on these issues.

p.s. Here is an article I wrote for the Independent which is a bit more rant -like - compared to the Guardian piece does this one hit home harder?


  1. I agree with your sentiments and try myself to be balanced and still persuasive in my writing. I have to say however I have on occasion been unable to help myself when discussing the benefits issues and ranting has been my outlet. Does this have more/less impact? I don't know and would suggest a balance of the two styles is perfectly acceptable.

  2. A blend of passion and argument can work. See for example the YouTube videos of Dr Helen Caldicott, the Australian paediatrician and anti-nuclear campaigner.

  3. I see no reason why you should not rant in your blogs, I find it conveys the story/blog much better and gives the reader better understanding.

    I liked your blogs so have blogrolled it on mine here: http://diaryofansahstrokesurvivor.wordpress.com/

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