Be loud about the things you love

A writing tip for myself in the future, if I may (and I do): delete every use of “…for me…,” “in my opinion,” “some might disagree,” “I think,” etc. etc. These snippets are a bad habit and make your writing fragile, lacking any conviction, with one eye always over your shoulder. After a while these self-doubting platitudes become road bumps that get in the way of describing the thing that you love.

I’m working on a big piece right now and I just skimmed through it all, removing all those gestures of self-doubt and the sentences quickly snapped together in a more satisfying way without them. But you, future Robin, might ask: shouldn’t we be worried about sounding too certain? Too dogmatic? Yes, certainly, but that requires carefully listening to the tone of what you’re writing, then editing out anything that’s a bit too grandiose.

Now some might disagree but, for me, in my opinion, I think that this isn’t good advice.

Doesn’t this sound like a lil bug, apologizing for being stepped on? Or a car with all its wheels spinning in the mud? Every week I watch a review or read a piece where someone is describing an exciting thing but that excitement is partly extinguished by the fear of their audience disagreeing with them. But I get it, it’s tough to say “I love this” and then a thousand people climbing out of the mud to say how that thing you love, actually, secretly sucks.

When this kind of thing happens again, here’s some advice (now read this in the most loving, fatherly voice): there’s certainly not one way to design a building or make a website or live a life, and there’s no one genre of film or music or theatre that stands above all the others. There are no perfect video games or novels or cities.

But there is only one way to love something; earnestly, without forgiveness or apology. So be loud about the things you love!