Writing with feeling

Chris Garrett is guest writing again at Copyblogger, this time on writing with feeling.  (Regular readers will notice I highlight a lot of the work on the Copyblogger site - it’s just because their stuff is so good.)  He’s making a number of points about how to write with an authentic voice, connecting with your readers at a human level, and generating positive feelings.

He suggests three main routes:

  • Humour - not so much telling jokes but making it clear you don’t take yourself too seriously
  • Telling stories - again not tall tales, but stuff that proves you’re a human being
  • Language - add a touch of humanity to the words you use, write in a conversational style

While these will go a long way to creating an authentic voice and helping you to build rapport with your readers, for me they’re not the same as the “writing with soul” that Chris suggests you should be aiming at.  For me, writing with soul is pretty heady stuff.  You know it when you’re reading it - and when you’re writing it.  Some of the ingredients I’d add include:

  • A positive higher intention.  Your writing has a ‘higher’ purpose than the words themselves.  To convey something deeply important to you perhaps.  Or to awaken a powerful response in your readers.
  • Courage.  Writing with soul requires you to take off the mask.  Not just to tell stories but share who you are - strengths, weaknesses, warts and all
  • Honesty.  You can’t fake this stuff.  If you do, your readers will notice, destroying the trust and rapport you’ve been working to build up.

What are the hallmarks of soul writing that you’d pick out?  Any examples of writing with soul - either your own or other people’s - that you’d like to share?