Improving Minghui Periodicals
(Minghui.org) What is the purpose of our Minghui periodicals? Of course it is to save people. If we improve the content, the periodicals will be better received by our readers. Therefore, we should make an even greater effort to improve on our techniques and the contents.
I used to have a difficult time selecting appropriate articles to include in Minghui periodicals. As we make improvements as a whole, Minghui articles have improved in quality and editors have refined their writing skills. Now is the time to think about how to improve the quality of Minghui periodicals, which can be a form of art if we can properly express beauty and compassion through them.
Good magazines and periodicals can move people and leave a long lasting impression. To achieve this, I would like to outline a few thoughts that could help us all improve
A Clear Theme
First of all, the theme of an article must be clearly stated so that the reader can summarize the content in a brief sentence after reading it. The theme could be in the title or embedded in a paragraph. That way the readers will remember it.
Human minds are not very strong, so if an article addresses several issues, readers won't remember much and won't be intrigued by what they read. The best articles leave the readers thinking for themselves and with an opportunity to learn by analogy. If an article leaves a deep impression, although the reader may not understand it all immediately, future opportunities will trigger what's hidden in their minds.
The overall design of a truth clarifying periodical follows the same principle. Due to the limited space, the articles in a periodical should not go all over the place concerning themes. There should be a few articles with the same theme so that the readers get the message. The layout should be thought out so that it echos the theme.
Sharing As Equals to Move the Readers
In the past after writing or editing an article, I would try to see it from the reader's perspective and ask, “Would the reader agree that the content of this article is pretty good and is it well written?” I then noticed that I felt superior to the reader. At heart I was saying, “I am telling you important things. Look at all the facts and arguments I am giving you. You should be able to comprehend and agree.” In fact, this was a form of self expression and an attachment to recognition and admiration.
I remember a quote from a magician that inspired me. The magician said, “The audience is often curious and eager to uncover the secret behind a magic trick. To a certain degree that is because of the magician himself. Many magicians do magic to show off their skills and techniques, so that is what the audience sees--an individual's skills. So naturally they wants to know how the trick is done. If, on the other hand, the magic trick is designed and performed with the audience in mind, if the audience is in a leading role and the performer a supporting role, if the magic is presented as a meaningful gift to the audience, then the audience will be touched at a deeper level and might not keep asking how it is done.”
The same holds true for writing and editing articles. If we treat the readers as close friends, they will feel that we are sharing our thoughts with them in a meaningful way. They will be moved instead of focusing on appraising the writing skills and techniques. (Of course this is not to belittle the importance of writing skills. And the same holds true for both writing review articles and news pieces.)
Although we as practitioners have a higher level of understanding than ordinary people and we see the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) nature more deeply, our hearts should be on our readers' level.
People today, no matter how wealthy or famous, are stressed and often miserable. Because all sentient beings have degenerated and become more selfish, they rarely are understood on a deep, soul touching level; seldom obtain true wisdom about life; and lead lives filled with misery. Yet all of this is so that they can eventually obtain the Fa. If we can truly feel their suffering and misery as if it were our own and develop true compassion for them, we will be able to tolerate all their shortcomings and weaknesses (as those are not their true selves), cherish their lives, and write articles that touch their souls.
With a higher understanding of sentient beings, we will find that our articles will resonate well in their minds, regardless of whether the articles are about the evil CCP or appealing to people's consciences.
Coordination and Harmony to Achieve Perfection
I remember an article by a fellow practitioner. He wrote, “Both Eastern and Western traditional arts share the same aesthetic principles, including integration, order, balance, harmony, etc. All forms of art emphasize the importance of the whole body while paying attention to each individual component. It is analogous to a living being, which is composed of individual organs that can carry out their own functions and also coordinate with each other to achieve an overall goal.
I found some similarities between Shen Yun and editing Minghui periodicals. How different pieces in a Shen Yun performance are joined together contributes to the overall rhythm of the whole show. Similarly, articles in a periodical or magazine should be arranged in a way that they echo each other and work together to focus on a common theme. The same is true regarding the coordinated use of colors and pictures in the layout.
“Mankind's history is like a play, and you played all the roles--from kings to common folk, from heroes to villains (laughter) , from intellectuals, to famous people, to heroes.” (“Touring North America to Teach the Fa”)
Those practitioners who are participating in the Fa-rectification using their language and writing skills may have been famous writers in history. We have created glorious things in human society and helped to lay the foundation for today. Master has arranged the best of everything for us. We should be able to create real glory in today's Fa-rectification period.
The main goal of our articles is to validate the Fa. With good writing skills, our articles will be able to touch people's hearts. They will be perfect works of art that are beyond the reach of any human artwork.
The ancients said, “A perfect article is created by heaven; the skillful writer merely obtains it by luck.” Master has done everything in other dimensions for us. The Fa can give us boundless wisdom. We just need to keep enough righteous thoughts and take that step toward perfection.
I hope we can advance diligently together and truly achieve a great effect with our Minghui periodicals.