To be a good writer, you sometimes have to be annoying …

Good writing is routinely annoying.

It is!

The best writing gets into our thoughts and stirs our emotions because, at some point, it will challenge our thinking and make us restless.

Kingsley Amis put it this way, “If you can’t annoy somebody, there is little point in writing.”

If you write only for an “amen,” you bring little value to your readers. If you don’t care about the “amens,” then you will annoy someone because most people usually don’t naturally like having their thoughts and positions challenged. But it is exactly by moving your readers to think that you are able to both encourage and challenge them.

And people need both encouragement and challenge.

So sometimes it’s okay to annoy someone.

Scripture has a similar idea: “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy,” Proverbs 27:6.