Let’s just stop for a minute and reflect on a political, philosophical, or moral issue you’re wrong about. It ain’t that easy, right? But why not? The chance that you’re right on every topic you think and argue about is basically zero. Of course, if you knew you were wrong about something you wouldn’t hold that belief or even preach it. Whenever somebody utters an opinion we don’t agree with, our minds go: How dare you believe that? Of course, you can shield yourself from such thoughts by avoiding opinions that differ from yours. However, that’s a bad idea. It’s important to talk to people, so let me give you some practical advice on how to do it. Especially since the holidays are upon us, you’ll likely meet family members you haven’t seen in a while. So here comes an instruction manual on how to deal with that crazy aunt of yours who worships conspiracy theories.
“Nobody can advise you and help you, nobody.”
This is how writing instructor, novelist, and screenwriter Colum McCann starts his Letters to a Young Writer (2017). But if no one can help you write, why bother reading a book that has “writer” and “advice” in its title? Well, let’s read a few letters and find out.