Honesty and personal style are very importand for any creative work, including effective memorization practice. They can also be very important for effective communication and your career. A professional writer and marketer Jade Parker argues that anyone can develop true authenticity following very simple guidelines, at least when writing. Try to see if you can apply the same principles to other aspects of your life and work.
Authenticity in writing is a significant quality that often makes the difference between average content and extraordinary content. Merriam Webster dictionary defines an authentic person as “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.” For writers, this definition should mean more than for others.
You see, a story becomes great when there’s authenticity around it. Everyone loves movies that incorporate real facts and happenings. Why? Because they’re authentic. Great storytellers manage to capture the attention around them by using their authentic voice and by giving their listeners a chance to interpret and connect with their stories.
Authenticity and Originality
Many writers become paralyzed with the idea that their writing must be original. Some strive to present the latest news and trends, while some are worried about bringing new things to the table – things that have never been written before.
But you see…most of these writers commit a terrible mistake. They confuse originality with authenticity. There’s a slight, yet very significant difference between the two terms. Writing with authenticity means using your authentic voice which has been continuously crafted and modified throughout time. It means writing with courage and faith, neglecting the spoken and unspoken rules of writing.
Writing to be original is something different. The strong urge to be appreciated by readers makes you feel like every word that comes out of your mouth should be new and unseen before. That’s a difficult mindset and a mindset that’s going to put you through a lot of misery.
As the Ecclesiastes says, “there’s nothing new under the sun”. Focus on authenticity rather than originality. One hundred writers can write something, yet only a few will seem “original”. How come? Well, they’re being authentic. That’s why they’re being appreciated as original, and that’s why people pay attention when authenticity is present.
Authenticity and Personal Branding
When it comes to a writer’s personal branding, publishing quality and authentic content is the most important aspect that will draw the attention of his clients. Every single client out there wants to have the “best man on the job”. If a certain person likes the authenticity in your voice, he’s definitely going to contact you.
Moreover, the authenticity of a writer’s personal brand hugely depends on the writer’s ability to “think out of the box” and the courage of not following all the rules. When there’s personality, there’s a lot of interest too.
So, in case you were wondering what is the problem with your personal brand’s performance, you should think about the way you speak to your audience. Is your voice real, genuine, and authentic? Or you’re just curating information off the web, hoping to land a few contracts here and there?
Common “Mistakes” that Stop Authenticity
Not all habits are good. Unfortunately, many writers have adopted negative mental habits that are sabotaging their authenticity in writing.
Perfectionism in writing is a commonly met problem among today’s professional writers. Writing perfectionism reflects the need of a writer to deliver the perfect work. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but there’s no such thing as a perfect work. There’s no perfect text, content, video, or presentation.
When writers get that, they suddenly stop stressing so much, relieving themselves of those terrible expectations. When the mind of the writer is free to play, it will be much easier for him to write from an authentic point. Perfectionism is sick, damaging, and very stressing; therefore, do your best to overcome it as soon as possible.
2. Fear of An Imaginary Critical Audience
Whenever you write something, you need to keep your audience in mind. More often than not, getting to a state of mind where you feel like you are speaking directly to your readers is going to bring a new flavor to your content.
However, when you perseveringly think of what your readers will think and feel about your content, you might start experiencing the side-effects. I’m talking about a sudden fear of a critical audience which always wants more and better. To tell you the truth, there’s no such thing as a critical audience.
Obviously, you cannot satisfy all of your readers. Tastes are not discussed, and you’d better understand that. Moreover, what you truly need to always remind yourself is that your content will always be appreciated by its readers. If not by all, at least by the majority!
3. Trying to Dismiss Your Inner Voice
Even though it might sound absurd, some writers strive their best to dismiss their inner voice whenever they write. This is the cause of a terrible, negative belief that has taken root in their heads.
When you’re afraid to use your inner voice, you’re probably dealing with self-confidence and self-esteem problems. You will want to write like other writers write (“because they do so well and you don’t.”) Well, avoiding your real voice is a terrible mistake that’s going to hurt you in the longer run.
No matter what you do, please realize that being a writer means being able to describe the world through your own eyes, mind, and voice.
How to Become an Authentic Writer
You’re not born with authenticity; you’re making it happen! Since we were young, we keep gathering beliefs each and every day. At some point, our mindset is filled with them. If those beliefs have a positive nature, we’re going to experience life through positive lenses. Yet, if the beliefs are disempowering, we’re going to encounter many struggles and challenges.
What does this have to do with authenticity? Simply put, when a person engages in the activity of writing, he brings his baggage of beliefs with him. If one of those beliefs states that “the writing is not good enough”, it’s enough for authenticity to be gone. And there’s also the fear of failure – which happens to be a writer’s greatest enemy.
Nevertheless, nothing is unfixable concerning this matter. Now that you’re aware of the importance of authenticity in your writing, it should be easier for you to open yourself up for new beliefs and practices. Here are several actions you can take in order to connect with your authentic self:
1. Write Like If You Were Talking to Your Best Friend
In order to grab the attention of the reader, you must constantly interact with him. That means that you’ll write as if you were speaking verbally. Imagine yourself talking to one of your best friends; no matter the subject, you’d still wish that by the moment the lecture is over, your friend is going to be left with something constructive or positive.
The key is to care about your reader. When you care, you’re writing from a different angle. Moreover, if you care and you consistently interact with your readers through questions, rhetorical questions, and dialogue elements, you are likely to be more authentic than you’ve ever been before.
2. Write First, Edit Later
In order to maintain a constant flow of interconnected ideas, you should keep writing until you finish. No stopping, no considering, no second thoughts. Just write. Unfortunately for some writers, this is not easy at all. They often interrupt their writing momentum by correcting small spelling and grammar mistakes. Once they’re done editing, they’ve lost their idea.
Therefore, try your best to keep writing until you’re finished. Editing can be done later, and proofreading too.
3. Get Heavily Involved in the Process of Writing
Writing is an extraordinary activity. Besides the fact that we, writers, get a ton of benefits from this stimulating activity, we also need to consider the good that we’re bringing to other people’s lives. That’s an incredible satisfaction too!
But, in order for your writing to be amazing, you’d better get heavily involved! That means treating your writing activities as something extremely important. Your best bet to do so is to become emotionally involved with what you’re doing.
Find the reason…The “why” that sits beneath your reasoning. When you find a purpose in an activity or action, that activity will become something “important”. Treat your writing with importance and your readers will do the same!
4. Write with Awareness and Peace of Mind
Every time you’re encountering the so-called “writer’s block”, you need to raise your awareness as quickly as possible. Become aware that it’s only temporary and start reminding yourself that your lack of authenticity might be one of the causes. It’s simple. When you’re not writing with an authentic voice, you’re critically judging every idea, word, and sentence that comes in your head.
In a matter of seconds, your brain will reject those ideas because they’re not “yours” or because you’re not truly believing that what you’re about to say is right. Well, to be honest, you really don’t have to care so much. You never know which of your articles will be a big hit, so stop harassing yourself so much!
Authenticity in writing? It matters a lot. Authenticity for the purpose of developing a great personal brand? You bet! If you think about it…it’s not just writers that need to be authentic with what they do. Don’t you think that most of the creative professionals are facing the same problem right now?
In today’s society, copycats are heavily discouraged and badly seen. There’s no choice other than working on yourself. Start with your confidence and self-esteem. Then, start following our practices (and not only) and be consistent. How do you know when you’ll finally write with authenticity? Well, you’ll just know!
Jade Parker is a professional writer and marketer. She currently works for assignment masters, helping students from all over the world. Her writing is filled with passion and her main purpose is to help other individuals overstep their boundaries while improving their lives.