Must-Read: Daniel Davies: The Verjus Manifesto
Must-Read: Daniel Davies muses this morning on the problems of *audience* and *intellectual reach*: who are you writing for, and which potential audience will lead to what you right doing the most good? In the end he comes down at what is, I think, the right place: write the way you have the most fun, because that is the kind of writing you will be best at…
The Verjus Manifesto: “You get fewer readers this way, but more of them email you…:
…And if you do it right, some of the ones that email you are real professionals–people who you never imagined having a conversation with when you started writing stuff on a website. Rather than sifting through a thousand comments section bores, you attract an audience that is more likely to be sufficiently interested in the subject to make an effort to carry on a conversation, and exponentially more likely to have an interesting point when they do so…. So, that’s my manifesto going forward… It’s not so much an intentional decision to make things complicated and appeal to only some vague notion of a cognitive elite. I’ve always believed, like Ezra [Klein], that anything important can be explained in an interesting fashion to any intelligent layman who’s prepared to apply herself. But it’s a reminder to myself that ‘to thine own self be true’ is the only philosophy of writing that is consistent with long term soul preservation. And that there will be times when following this path means that hardly anyone reads your stuff, and that these times are a great opportunity to make the acquaintance of some top fellers.