A Blog Means Having to Say You’re Sorry: The Synergy of Creative Power Writing


No blog post last week.

WowPow blog is still a baby, and I haven’t developed a routine about when to write it. One week I wrote it early, on Thursday. Another week, I wrote it last minute, late Sunday night. Last week, I just forgot.

I thought about how to tell you, dear readers. Should I apologize profusely? Or act like it’s no big deal, like I don’t have to write on a particular schedule? I don’t have to keep a schedule, but I should, if I want to keep you following WowPow. And I did intend to write every week. 

So how should I spin this, Creative Power Writing-style? I decided to examine how others have looked at apologies.

“Never apologize, mister, it’s a sign of weakness.” – John Wayne

“If I hurt someone, if I were to accidentally poke someone’s eye out, I would laugh. And then I’d say, ‘I’m sorry, I really do feel bad,’ but then I’m on the floor rolling.” – Rachel McAdams

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” —Kimberly Johnson

“Never forget the nine most important words of any family–

I love you.

You are beautiful.

Please forgive me.”

–Jackson Brown Jr.

“Chocolate says “I’m sorry” so much better than words.” —Rachel Vincent

“But sorry is the Kool-Aid of human emotions. […] True sorrow is as rare as true love.” – Stephen King

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boese

“An apology? Bah! Disgusting! Cowardly! Beneath the dignity of any gentleman, however wrong he might be.” – Steve Martin

“To err is human, to forgive divine…” – Alexander Pope

The quotations fall into camps. There’s the power group, with John Wayne and Steve Martin thrusting out their chins and swaggering and opting not to apologize at all. At the opposite end are the creative metaphors of Stephen King and Rachel Vincent.

What was your reaction to these different types of observations? You likely nodded in agreement with one set and harrumphed at the other. It’s unlikely that you agreed with both.

Such extremes are polarizing. Whichever extreme you choose, you alienate half your audience. Now, there are times when your audience or purpose calls for strong opinion, but the greatest success will come when you practice Creative Power Writing.

That’s when you pull the best from your power lineup and the best from the creative and meld them into a product that, instead of compromising, develops a synergy bigger than either alone. That’s 1+1=3.
Creative + Power = CreativePowerWriting.

The Paul Boese and Alexander Pope quotations have that synergy. Both use the creative technique of antithesis, countering the meaning of the second part of the sentence against its opposite first part. They also make creative use of letter sounds—Boese with consonance and Pope with assonance and consonance. Both make use of the power technique of rhythm, creating sentences with beats that sound musical and are thus easy to remember.

Most importantly, both take the reader beyond apology itself and philosophize about its larger implications. Boese says forgiveness permits an expansive future; Pope goes even further, calling it godlike. Creative Power Writing at its best!

I can’t come close to challenging Alexander Pope on apology. So I’ll just tell you that on forgetting to write a blog post last week…

I’m sorry.

And I hope you’ll react in a divine manner.

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/spudmurphy/2219131207/”>Dave Keeshan</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;