What does it mean to be authentic in your writing?

Every writing-mentor says, author should be authentic and share more on a personal level, so that you can connect more with your readers.

Introvert-Writer: What the he** is that?

“No, I do not expose my personal space like that, I do not do it!” You might argue.

Calm down. The personal level has a boundary line too.
You can set that in your list, which information that you will never share such as your personal address, your family members’ names, and photos. (Choice is individual.)

In your story, you can always share how you discover the fact and the story. You can be authentic in your writing, disregard your personal information.

I love reading works from authentic writers too. Because I feel more connected and feel more human!

But when we become a writer, how can we do that?

Because I know that many authors have an extremely introvert-personality. Many of us are not only introverts but introvert + observer personality!

This type of people, want to observe, do not want to involve in express thoughts, stories, or anything at the personal level. We always observe and make critical points and share them with ourselves.

Okay, that is our pattern. But now you are writing a book. You have to be aware, the day you decided to write a book. You stepped over that point already. You have not only enough to say but also important points to share with readers.

I see that it is not easy for the introvert + observer type, to express themselves at the personal level as we are barely practicing on that.

If you want to understand authenticity I recommended you read Educated by Tara Westover.

You might think, of course, it is a memoir how else could it be if you do not share your personal story.

Yes, but my point is not because it is a memoir. At some point, you will see how she told the story that she was even unsure about the information. Because some memories were deleted or blurred as it was long ago.

In some parts of her book she wrote, she did not have the exact memories of the event. Even she tried to find out, asking family members. It turned out everyone had different memories.

That is what I mean about authenticity.

When you do not know, just say that you do not know.
You can note aside what you think or see/believe but you can also tell readers that is your opinion and memory. But it does not mean it is the fact that you have proof or record.

That is one example. Okay if you still argue, because it was a memoir.

I have another example. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. If you follow me from the beginning, you know how much I admire his works. I mentioned him (probably) too often, hope you are not getting bored by that.

His book definitely not a memoir yet showed authenticity in it.

In Outliers, there are events in the book that showed readers, that he did not know (and that’s why he was researching to find out). He told readers how he thought and what the fact was.

This book is telling you that success does not truly come from zero as new-age entrepreneurs like to say. But success is actually accumulation from a generation passed to generation, called legacy. Plus, it was a result of the world, which provides resources, knowledge, technology, events, and timelines that people have built before you. Then you created a new idea out of that.

He also shared that he is a writer because of those (many) factors. He was the result of his mom, who was a great writer in her time. And his dad was a professor, teaching science. So he inherited some elements from both of them, information, news, the internet, people, his previous works, and all. That shaped him to be a great writer today.
He did not take credit for himself say that he was (completely) self-made successful writer. (He showed his humble side as well as gratitude.)

This is what I called authenticity. He showed who he is and expressed what he thinks and believes.

It does not matter the thought is right or wrong. But if you can do that, if you can share what you think out loud then the authenticity shows.

Humans are different in nations, races, languages, environments around us, and how we grow up, etc., why not thoughts?

There are thoughts that oppose yours, vice versa, there will always be thoughts that align with yours out there too.

John C Maxwell, a world-class speaker. He teaches many leaders and wrote books sold worldwide. He also shared,

“Be authentic! People don’t want a leader who’s always right; they want a leader who’s always real.”

That means what you think can be wrong, but you can be you.

Say don’t know, when you don’t know.
Share what you think, when you consider it makes a critical point (and not hurt anyone personally).
Especially, share things that you know will help your readers.

Believe me, be authentic in writing is even more fun than hiding.
Or you do not have to believe me, but try it yourself!

Have fun with your writing!

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This is a repost from my old Keedkien blog post, published on January 4, 2021, under Cally Blind. I’ll gradually transfer my content to this website. In the meanwhile, you can still visit my old blog and learn about writing and creativity.

DISCLOSURE: The links in this post are affiliate links, which I may receive a small commission for at no additional cost to you if you purchase one of them via the link. Affiliate commissions help fund my high-value content like this one. Please know that I have experience buying books with Amazon myself and I recommended items/links only when I see it benefits my readers.