Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Tadeusz Deregowski On Writing


My new friend and fellow author, Tad Deregowski* has kindly given me some tips to improve my writing.

I sought out tips from him because we are in agreement that:

“…writing is a form of persuasion.” T.D.

I sensed that he could teach me more effective methods of persuasion.


“I think successful persuasion comes from a position of empathy.” T.D. He talks about catching more flies with honey.

"So, to successfully persuade one should  try to consider four elements with something approaching empathy- yourself (the author), the reader, the hero and any adversaries the hero might have. If you write in the first person you can reduce that to three." T.D.

There are people I have a hard time empathizing with. My instincts tell me that focusing more on empathy will improve my work.


"I suspect you may have a somewhat black-white view of society in general. I don`t think that is bad in itself- if we came from a position of neutrality we`d be very boring.” T.D.

I admit currently fear has led me to black and white thinking in some areas. I do not want my country, USA, to sponsor the next genocidal dictator and there is potential for that happening.  


 “But, unless you can step aside from that while writing you will probably just be producing pieces whose main end is your own catharsis or end up simply preaching to the converted." T.D.

This resonates completely. I have felt this for some time now.


(If I continue to write angry, moralistic diatribes)

“You`ll also lose humour, surprise and contradiction. And, as you aren`t humourless (by any means) the reader will miss a good part of what`s fun about you." T.D.

Again, this completely resonates. Writing is my happy place. While I want to contribute to making the world a better place, I want to enjoy the process.


" would be  great if you tried to produce something where you create an ambiguous character, who has positions that you find simultaneously agreeable and obnoxious." T.D.

So I wrote a piece using these tips. It’s flawed but humorous and, in my opinion, effective – and I enjoyed the words flowing out my fingers onto the screen.


My takeaway from these tips and observations is:

I have a new style of writing informed by but not a direct copy of – Tad’s style.

There is an in-between style that I discovered on my own when writing the poem Uninhabitable which I will still use sometimes.

And though there are those who need to read and write angry diatribes, I won’t say never but it’s highly unlikely that I will write that way anymore because it is not effective and there is potential for increasing societies polarization.

Thank you, Tad!

*Other places to see Tad's work: instagram facebook   


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