Unplugged and inspired

Before I left for vacation, I was grappling with the question: what’s the difference between writing to persuade and writing to inspire?

Maybe it was the mountain air, the time away from the computer and telephone or the decline in data for my little brain to process, but the answer suddenly seemed so clear.

Writing to persuade is based on pointing out specific benefits. Very self-centered, usually focusing on immediate, concrete rewards. It’s all about me.

Writing to inspire transcends the individual, appealing to a greater cause or higher values. It’s all about us.

This distinction explains why Barack Obama can be so successful at inspiring, but have difficulty persuading many American to support health care reform.