I’m laying in bed scrolling through social media, winding down for the evening. I see a string of articles titled “an open letter to” in my news feed, and reflexively I roll my eyes.
I’m here to break the harsh truth: the “open letter to” articles are long past their expiration date.
There are “open letters” written on every single topic imaginable, with multiple attempts on the subject. I don’t care how much you think your article could offer a different perspective, or how much more original or well-written it is; it’s past due. Trust me, if you googled your topic I’m sure half a dozen articles on the subject, all titled “an open letter to….” will pop up.
The phase of “open letters” has come and gone. If you really have a good article topic, I think you’re capable enough to offer a different perspective or point of view – or at least capable of coming up with a more creative and eye catching title – than the typical open letter format.
I get it, you have this topic you’re passionate about and want so badly for others to read. That’s the wonderful part of being a writer. However, “open letter” formats are pretty generic and cliché at this point. You’re better than that. You’re writing is better than that.
Remember when everyone rolled their eyes when they made ANOTHER “Friday the 13th” movie, or when they made ANOTHER “Scary Movie”? Or how badly the “Batman V. Superman” movie flopped? Yeah, that’s basically what you’re setting yourself up for when you write ANOTHER “Open Letter To” article. Don’t be that person. You can do better than that!
There are so many different writing styles, formats, perspectives, etc. and so many diverse ways of titling your articles. Why limit yourself to one style, never mind one that’s been overdone?
You can disagree with me, or feel like you’re being personally attacked. I’m just trying to help in the form of delivering brutal truths – no matter how much you don’t want to hear it. Take it from one writer to another, the reality is “an open letter to” articles are dead.
You’re writing deserves a more creative title than that, something original and distinctive. Don’t stunt yourself or your writing, instead expand your writing styles and your capabilities.