Writing with Authenticity

pushpin My fascination with the topic of authenticity dates back many years.  My interest was not so much in the theory as in the practice of authenticity.  When I first started exploring a career in copywriting, I faced a big problem.  It seemed that success was marked by the ability to write “shock and awe” — headlines that threatened imminent loss or promised enormous quick returns.  I was unsure of my ability to write in that style without incurring a high cost of internal conflict.

Fortunately, my decision to specialize in writing white papers and case studies has relieved me of the burden of hype.  My recent interest in information security and authentication has reinforced that decision.  You don’t need hype to sell authentication.  Good authentication proves itself by providing security.

I think the same principle applies to writing and writers.  Good writing is authentic, as are good writers.  When people tell you to “find your voice”, they are actually crystallizing the core element of authenticity.  Writers who are comfortable with their craft have discovered the secret of authenticity.  Their ability to draw on that knowledge fuels their brand of eloquence.

My guess is there are many writers out there who seem stuck in a field where their writing is it at odds with their internal wiring.  This could turn work into a daily struggle.  To you, I offer a simple suggestion: find a specialization where you can be yourself.  Here is how Les Edgerton puts it in his book , Finding Your Voice – how to put your personality in your writing:

You know what’s really, really cool?  The exhilarating sense of confidence you’ll gain when you learn your own voice is perhaps just as good as anyone who just got a rave review in the Times.  Maybe it’s even better.  You can’t hold back a writer who grasps this about him or herself.”

Being able to enjoy what you do can only add to the joy of doing it well.

 

© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009.

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks for your post. I find the phrase “finding your voice” a curious one, always have. It suggests that you had it at one time then lost it. I think of the subject like a musician practicing. They don’t find musicality, they develop it. It’s just a simple distinction that makes sense to me.

    Doug

    • Doug, thanks for your comment.
      You’re right, the phrase is a curious one. In my view, I see it as indicating a “natural” component to whatever it is you’re writing about, which allows you to connect with your audience without sweating it. True you’d still need to develop it, but the difference is it feels real to you and complements you, almost to the point of being your signature, your style. It is genuine, authentic.

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