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Writing with authenticity

15 July, 2007 Posted by Joanna As Confidence Themes

I’ve been writing about authentic living this week (over at my Coaching Wizardry site) which has got me thinking about what we mean by authentic writing too.

W.H.Auden said that:

“Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.”

But what is this thing called authenticity, and how do we build it into our writing?

Looking at the meaning of words is always a good place to start.  Authenticity means

“The quality or condition of being authentic, trustworthy, or genuine.”

It has something to do with reliability.  Being authentic.  Worthy of trust, reliance or belief.  Genuine, or true.  Not counterfeit or copied.

And how do we reflect this in our writing?  Well here are some suggestions - but I’d love to hear more…

  • Use plain language - that way people can judge for themselves if you’re worthy of trust
  • Be credible - don’t over-promise and follow through on what you say you’ll do
  • Write in your own words - the style or register will vary according to context, but as far as possible you want to write using your own words rather than copying or borrowing someone else’s
  • Be yourself - acknowledge the things that make you human, including weaknesses.  This helps to create rapport with your reader.  They can see that at some level you’re just like them
  • Write with intention - what is the purpose of your writing?  for yourself, your reader or the wider world?  That intention is unique.  Let it drive your writing - it will help you find your voice and write with authenticity

What would you pick out as the key ingredients of authentic writing?  Do you have any great examples of writing with authenticity - your own or other people’s -  that you’d like to share?

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Related posts:

  1. Writing with authenticity: the September theme at Confident Writing
  2. Two Simple Steps to Writing With Authenticity: by Robert Hruzek
  3. Starting to write with authenticity

Categories : Confidence Themes

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