What we can learn from Addario: Writing about your passion.

One does not need to go deep into reading part 2 of its what I do to find vivd writing. Almost immediately we are drawn into the scene of a freelance photographer running back and forth like a chicken with its head cut off (they actually do this) trying to catch her ‘big break’. Chapter 4 begins with the haunting image of Addario landing on ground zero, only to rush back to Pakistan, in order to document the brewing conflict. What makes Addario’s writing so effective is the ability to capture the readers attention by appealing to the reader’s emotions. 

We can see this on page 72, by the way she describes her research phase similar to what we would expect from a spy. “I learned to quickly tuck away my own political beliefs while I worked”. The danger conveyed in this phrase due to the connotations of the word ‘tuck’ causes the reader to be intrigued and concerned for Addario’s well-being. But most importantly, this phrase creates a hook which in turn leads the reader to be more curious and more involved in the reading. A similar hook can be seen on page 80 when Addario writes: “The New York times crew found several floor’s worth of rooms in a shady hotel above a bakery…” By setting the scene and classifying it as ‘shady’, Addario once again uses ethos, with the same purpose as before. From these two examples it is noticeable how the writer is using specific words and cues to spark interest in the reader.

A similar style can effectively be used when blogging. Using ethos can be tricky but it is a matter of finding a voice that can speak well to the audience that you are addressing. While a blog about Fantasy Football is not nearly as caustic as a book about war photography, it is still important to give the reader reasons to keep going. It can be anything as simple as the writer’s (that’s me) weekly progression, or something more complex like carefully selecting the words that will keep the reader hooked. It is definitely easier said than done, but when done effectively, ethos can be a powerful tool. I think the most effective way of achieving this is by simply being excited about what you are writing about and let the passion bleed threw your writing. I find that my writing is best when I am staring at the screen smiling because I find pleasure in what I am sharing with my audience. This, in the end is why Addario is able to captivate the reader so well; she is a master at sharing the things she finds exciting and explaining why the are exciting. 

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