Writing with authenticity: the September theme at Confident Writing

“Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about” (W H Auden)

Authenticity.  The thing that writers should always aim at.  But what is this thing called authenticity?  How do we achieve authentic writing?  How will we know when we’re writing with authenticity?

All these questions (and more) will be explored during the month of September, the first of the ‘themed’ months at Confident Writing.  This is all part of my intention to write (comment, link, read and learn) with a greater sense of purpose, and to link my writing back to the core ingredients of confident writing.

As I’m a writer I couldn’t help but work through the list alphabetically… which means starting with A for authenticity.

I’ve got some ideas bubbling away already, and have already jotted down some thoughts on what authenticity in writing means…but the experience will be so much richer - and let’s face it, more fun - if it’s informed by your ideas, learning and understanding too.  I hope there’ll be lots of room for good conversation as we go along but I’d love to hear from you now (to help me plan the month) if you’d like to contribute (as a guest writer) with:

  • examples of writing with authenticity - your own or other people’s - that you think we could learn from
  • thoughts on what authentic writing means to you - not just the dictionary definition, but what changes (has changed) when we write from the heart
  • tips and suggestions on how we can reflect or demonstrate authenticity in our writing

You get the idea - but I’m open to suggestions (pointers for good resources, books to read etc) and creative possibilities!  Either leave a comment in the box or drop me an e-mail (to to let me know if you’re interested in taking part - beyond reading, linking and commenting in your usual lovely way!

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9 Responses to “Writing with authenticity: the September theme at Confident Writing”

  1. On August 24, 2007 at 3:45 am Carol responded with... #

    Just a brief comment to let you know I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and really enjoy it. I’m hoping to learn to improve the writing on my own blog and at work by putting to use many of the ideas you are presenting here.

  2. On August 24, 2007 at 9:12 am Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Hi Carol, thanks for stopping by to say hello. It’s great to get feedback like this from readers - much appreciated. Best wishes with your own blog - it looks like it’s blossoming :-)


  3. On August 24, 2007 at 7:48 pm Jean Browman--Cheerful Monk responded with... #

    Hi, Joanna,
    I have two blogs, and . I post only once a week on each so that I can write from the heart. I figure if I’m not changed by writing a piece, it’s not worth doing.

    I just looked over both blogs, and the posts that move me the most are the last three at and The Greatest Teachers ( ) at I’d appreciate hearing your reaction. I’m clearly not aiming for a mass audience, but am trying to connect with kindred spirits. Other people’s writings have been very important in my life, and I’d like to contribute, too.

  4. On August 24, 2007 at 9:08 pm kerri arista responded with... #

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts- And I like this particular topic. A book that came to mind immediatly as an example of authentic writing for me is EAT PRAY LOVE. I loved that book (as did many!) and one reason was that I felt that the author was so completely open and honest- As if she was confiding her story to me. I think authenticity is so important in writing and in life.

  5. On August 24, 2007 at 9:30 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Kerri, thanks for stopping by. I agree that openness and honesty is a large part of this thing called authenticity. I haven’t read Eat Pray Love yet, but I’ll check it out.

    I love getting book recommendations, so thanks for this one :-)


  6. On August 24, 2007 at 9:37 pm Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Jean, thanks for your comment and your links to your sites (and particular posts). I will visit and read them when I have a bit more time - so I can do justice to them, and pass on any thoughts

    I was really interested by some of the points you make about why you write and what you get from writing (I’m going to be asking that question here soon) - including:

    writing from the heart;
    writing that moves you;
    writing to connect with kindred spirits;
    writing to contribute; and
    being changed as a result of your writing.

    The last point resonates with something another writer said to me recently, and it’s a very powerful concept. Thanks for sharing it - I’m sure it’s a theme we’ll come back to


  7. On August 25, 2007 at 8:04 am Lillie Ammann responded with... #


    This is a great topic, and I’m looking forward to reading more.

    I just wanted you to know that I’ve posted a list of my favorite writing blogs, and you’re on it.

  8. On August 25, 2007 at 9:46 am Joanna Young
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Thanks Lillie, and for including me on your list of favourite writing blogs. Looks like there’s some really valuable resources listed on it.




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