We’re coming up to election time here in the UK. Which raises an old question. Can you write about politics in your emails?
Given everything that has happened in the last 12 months, political events provide an excellent battery of potential stories. The trouble is, each story is a potential powder keg that can make some readers instantly hate you.
It’s very difficult to make anything you write about in ernest apolitical. The challenge is to state your opinions without explicitly stating them.
I imagine many of you can guess my opinions. I don’t hide them, but I don’t try to hammer anyone over the head with them either.
If you’re going to write about current events, tongue in cheek is a valuable weapon. People always want to read or watch something that pokes fun at someone. (Jonathan Pie’s videos are possibly my favourite thing on Facebook…)
It also helps to frame what you’re saying from a perspective that isn’t being talked about in the mainstream media.
The article I’ve had the most response to this year was the one about Donald Trump’s inauguration. If you read it carefully, most of the article is written from a perspective you won’t hear in the newspapers. I imagine some die hard Trump fans may have taken offence at it, but that doesn’t matter.
Political events can be a great source of writing ideas, but they do come with a ‘handle with care’ warning. A powder keg is still a powder keg. Don’t be staring directly at one when it blows up in your face.