The first things most of us think about when we hear the name, Benjamin Franklin, may be his crucial role in the colonies’ rebellion against Great Britian or his vital contribution as a member of the Continental Congress. Or as a senior member of the Constitutional Convention.
But few probably associate Ben Franklin as a writer, except perhaps for his co-editing the Declaration of Independence with Thomas Jefferson!
As one of America’s most honored and cherished citizens, Benjamin Franklin was a writer long before he was a statesman or made Honorary Doctor of Laws at the Universities of Edinburgh and Oxford.
Ben Franklin’s formal education ended at the age of eight, and he started to work at ten. At age twelve, he began an apprenticeship for his brother, James, who published the New England Courant.
At age 15, he published his first article at the Courant in Boston, but was soon run out on a rail, due to his satirical jokes toward the ‘Blue Blood Bostonians.’
Making his way to New York and on to Philadelphia, via a circuitous route through Europe, he established himself as a printer, setting up shop in 1732.
Appointed clerk of the Philadelphia Assembly in 1736, he became Postmaster the next year and held many more prestigious positions in Pennsylvania.
Under the pseudonym, Richard Saunders, he began published Poor Richard’s Almanac in 1732, which soon became a very popular and influential magazine until 1756.
Writing under an assumed name, Franklin had the freedom to express his views without restraint and emphasized two qualities he believed most essential to success — industry and frugality.
As a writer, copywriter and author myself, I find some of his characteristics extremely interesting and vital for writers. He had a voracious curiosity, was an avid reader and extremely skeptical. And he had a penchant for satire!
Truly self-taught, he was celebrated throughout Europe, welcomed at Royal Court, sought-after by high brow society, and played a prominent role in forming America.
He was a great American. He, apparently, genuinely cared about standing on the side of ‘right.’ And … beneath all that … he was a writer!
To be able to write in a way that people can feel, the writer must be empathic — she must connect with her audience and write in a way that inspires them to action.
I strive to use words that inspire my readers to action. So, if you have a business, and need more customers and also want to nourish the ones you already have … I’d be happy to write to them on your behalf.
To writing with substance,
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