in our group the people who most get singled out as the brainy thinkers, most prolific writers and public loud mouths are not especially representative of the group as a whole... more often than not it is the college educated types, people who are most bi-lingually fluent, the most confident public speakers, etc. (which usually goes side by side with gender and/or class privilege). I assume its the same for alot of political groups.
Definitely getting off topic, but I'd like to hear from folks in other organizations about building writers within their org / through their propaganda. What works? Co-researching and co-authoring articles? Making members write at least one article a year? Writing as part of internal education? Practice through writing short bits for agitationals?
I thought this was a very interesting question that deserved its own thread.
I think that internal education, such as workshops, would be a good idea. Also I think organisations should go beyond encouraging members to write and actively ask them to. Sometimes writing stuff is seen as elite, in some cases it is, requiring a lot of research and work, but most writing isn't that difficult and there is no reason why some members of a groups shouldn't participate in this form of action.
Personally I've got a university education so I should have already known how to write. Turns out I really didn't. First time I tried to write things was an anti-recruitment leaflet. I'd brought up the issue of recruitment at community events and we'd agreed it was something we felt that we should counter and some of the old hands suggested that I give writing a leaflet a go. I got some pointers and advice from a few people in the group but never ended up writing the leaflet. Or at least never finished it
For libcom I started with a synthesis of a french news story because there wasn't much information available. I think I was asked to do it by John., or at least he suggested it, but I can't really remember. I drafted it and posted it on the old internal forum and it ended up being posted in draft form so I did have to get a few bits changed and neatened up.
From then on I mostly did short updates so translating things or synthesising several sources.
Then I started doing news articles, which again are usually translations or syntheses based upon foreign material.
I think support from comrades is helpful, especially offers to help with drafts or to proof read things. I've offered to help people out in the past but I don't think anyone's taken me up on it.
Personally I find that when I'm writing something I try to ask myself:
what information am I giving?
why am I giving it?
who am I giving it to?
how will they read it? (Where, when etc)
These are the same questions that I tell my students to ask themselves when they are writing their work.