An old friend of mine recently went to China on a business trip and he wrote a “trip report”. He decided to publish his report on linked in.
I just tried to read all 150 paragraphs of it.
Now, bearing in mind I was avoiding doing some work I don’t want to do; that I like the writer; and that I like China; (and… furthermore that I am interminably curious), i wouldn’t have thought that reading it would be so hard.
For example, I have recently read a 1000 page book written by a guy reporting, in prose, his time living in India. And I enjoyed almost every page of it.
But, this trip report was fascinatingly boring. There was too much detail and not enough to keep me interested. I skim read the last few hundred paragraphs. I wanted it to end.
It makes me wonder what makes good writing. His was written well and had personal insight. It was in places very personal and in other places factual. It was missing something. Perhaps it was any empathy for the reader.
It needed an editor. Perhaps the editor puts in any missing empathy because they are the first reader. In which case, you hope that your editor is a bloody good empath.
I am sick of empathy. And accusations as to who has it and who doesn’t and persecution if you don’t have enough. Or you don’t care enough or use it wisely.
Perhaps, it doesn’t matter that his report was boring. Likely he wrote it for himself. Most of my writing I do for me. His mistake then, from my perspective, was publishing it on linked in with a comment something like: “perhaps someone wanting to do business in China will find this report of interest”. Instead he should have published it without comment: reader beware, like it or lump it; this is me.