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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Blog-Flinging——Should Authors Use Their Platform To Preach?

By Peter Leavell

Disciples of political and doctrinal ideals are lobbing blogs at each other in attempt to articulate their position. I’m not really a blog-flinger myself—but I’d love my own work hurled at people. There’s a problem though.

I’m not a political advisor. Or an opinion piece writer. I don’t chat with the political pundits weekly, nor do I dig through the volumes of work daily that necessitate a semi-informed position.

I have to face facts. I write novels.

I’m an entertainer. An entertainer of the highest quality, but still, an entertainer.

At Novel Rocker, we’re all entertainers.

For some odd reason, people listen to entertainers.

Do you know what it takes for me to be comfortable sharing my opinion? I’m going to share my opinion about how a person should offer their opinion.

A few years ago, I wrote myself a letter, and I’m sharing the highlights with you.

Dear Peter,

—You get angry at Hollywood actors who mumble their opinion and their quote is heralded as high thought. You’re as much an entertainer as actors. Don’t be a hypocrite. Learn your subject before you offer opinions.

—Offend as few as possible. Your platform wasn't built on offense. The goal is to obtain fans, not alienate them. Yes, truth sometimes divides. But remember Winston Churchill said “Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”

—If you’re not having fun, they’re not having fun. You’re an entertainer, Peter, and people pay money for your work.

—Peter, airing your thoughts might make you feel better that you’re doing your part for what’s right, but ramifications for the position might not be best for the future.

—Apologize for being wrong yesterday but be right today.

—Put forward ideas that have ramifications not for one presidency or immediate policies, but for generations into the future. The founding fathers of the United States had classical educations in Roman, Greek, and modern European traditions, and you cannot offer opinions unless you’ve studied in a similar vein. All that is said should ring with the truth of eternity.

—Make sure you are good friends with one enemy of every position you hold.

—There are two political parties, but several movements. Champion the movements, and you’ll outlast any party.

— Remain forever positive.

—Chose battles with utmost care. Remember? This has happened many times—regret strikes a few seconds after a comment is delivered.

—Peter, most of all, remember—you’re a Christian. They’ll know you by your love. Finding it hard to love, and instead want to fling blogs to fix people? Then Peter, are you sure you’re a Christian?


Peter Leavell
Peter Leavell, a 2007 graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history, was the 2011 winner of Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest, and 2013 Christian Retailing's Best award for First-Time Author. Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. Learn more about Peter's books, research, and family adventures at


  1. So well stated. I often struggle with this issue. You put it in perspective.

  2. With regard to political campaigning, I don't like it when movie entertainers use their clout to influence people from a misaligned platform. It's not appropriate. Writers are in the entertainment business. as you mentioned, so the same constraints should apply. This is why I don't post political commentaries from my writing platform.

    However, I am also a citizen with opinions. Maybe because of my earl journalism background, the yellow journalism these days bugs me. I see iniquities that hurt others, like the comparison of Trump to Hitler that hurt Holocaust victims. Should I have no voice at all? I am reminded of a quote that goes something like this: All it takes for evil to prevale is for good men to do nothing. I post my personal opinions from my profile, which is separate from my writing platform.

  3. Excellent, Janalyn! Reckless voices seem to be drowning out the clarity. But we do have civic responsibilities to stand up for what's right. Best make sure we ARE right!


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