Why you should read work you disagree with

My writing tip for this week is: Read work you disagree with.

Engaging with a range of different writers and points of view helps us as we think through our own perspective on issues.

I personally find this a very confronting and helpful exercise. It requires discipline to consider a different point of view, and it often leads to a thoughtful examination of my own position.

I find reading widely helps me to understand where others are coming from, often acknowledging the complexity of someone’s situation, or responding with compassion or respect. Sometimes, I unexpectedly find points to agree on!

These days our internet world is sharply curated for our specific biases and desires. Algorithms are finely tuned to anticipate our wants and needs, and instead of broadening our perspective they only seek to reinforce our extremes.

Challenge yourself as a writer by engaging with ideas you disagree with, try to compassionately picture how someone might come to hold a different set of beliefs, and develop a structured rebuttal.

This is not an easy discipline to develop, but one that will certainly help you develop a robust point of view and comprehensive thesis.

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