I posted the following message to my OActivists e-mail list after Paul’s first national op-ed — Universal healthcare and the waistline police — was picked up by Yahoo News and listed as the most-read op-ed all day. I thought NoodleFood readers might be interested too.
Two years ago, Paul had zero experience in activism. So how did he get from zero to sixty? As someone who saw the process up close, I’d mention a few points:
- His two years of regular blogging on health care at the FIRM blog http://www.westandfirm.org/blog/ gives him an important base of knowledge from which to write. He doesn’t just rely on his knowledge of Objectivism.
- He developed his skills of writing letters and op-eds in our local Colorado papers. He wrote and published a great deal for those markets before seriously attempting to publish in national-level papers.
- He has been very willing to allow others to edit his work. He endured some very brutal criticism from me and others on occasion. He’s very conscious of his writing, so he doesn’t make the same mistakes twice.
- He treats newspaper editors with respect, rather than like punching bags. The opinion editors for the major Colorado newspapers know who he is — and they’re often receptive to getting another submission from him.
- He’s always on the lookout for a new idea or angle to turn into an op-ed. We routinely discuss the best ways of answering some argument or presenting some point. He works on making his writings ever more engaging, interesting, and clear.
- Most of all, he writes and writes and writes — just as Yaron Brook urged us to do at OCON 2008. He does that in his spare time, despite an exceedingly busy work schedule — and he enjoys it.So here’s a challenge: What are you going to do to up your game in 2009?