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How to Write Authentically by Irene S. Roth

Writers can be solitary creatures because they write alone every day.

Whether you write full-time or part-time, writing is hard work. It can take a lot of energy and time. And it can be lonely. So, it is most important that you have support along the way, people you can commiserate with when the going gets tough.

Despite the hardships and potholes along the way for writers, writing is the best vocation. It gives you a time and place to express yourself and a space to call your own. When you go into your office and close the door, you are in your sacred space to do whatever you need to be successful.

 

I believe that to be successful and inspired, you must consider your writing as a vocation and not merely as a job.

 

Jobs come and go, and they are not really something that we can truly identify with. So, instead, we should consider writing as a vocation or calling. When something is a calling, it is something that we feel inspired and motivated to do often.

In addition, if we consider writing a vocation, we will write daily and the process of writing will feel liberating and wonderful as well. It will also be an activity we look forward to.

 

All our experiences are typically filled with instances for reflection.

And this doesn’t matter what stage of life we are in currently—we have a LOT to write about. It is so important to take the time to reflect on our lives as we are living it. And this is what writing does for us, especially when we consider it a vocation. It will inspire us to live more deeply and more fully. This will also help us to write authentically, from that unique place in our lives.

It can be really difficult for some writers to write authentically. This is because they find writing too self-revealing, and they don’t want to reveal those personal aspects about themselves.

Writing at its best has to be raw and authentic. It is a form of expression that actually allows for the most authenticity. This is what makes writing so rewarding and so enticing for writers. And for some writers, this is what keeps them writing. But for other writers, being this open is scary.

 

Authentic writers are a different kind of writer from the inauthentic.

It’s not that authentic writers never have negative thoughts while they write. Still, the authentic writer is able to dismiss these thoughts. Most of our negative thoughts are mood related–if we are in a good mood, our inner thoughts are positive. On the other hand, if we’re in a bad mood, our inner thoughts are negative. It is important for us not allow moods to affect our overall writing productivity.

Therefore, authentic writers can step back from these negative moods and just relax and enjoy the writing that is before them. This can help writers feel happier, more content, and productive.

 

Here are a few more tips to become an authentic writer.

  1. Be yourself

One of your most important jobs as a writer is to be true to yourself, to honour your own ideas of what you believe is important in your life and to those of others.

Writers must write about what they love. This will help you to love the act of writing and want to write.

At first, it can be difficult to be who you truly are when you write. But it is one of the only ways to enjoy writing. Who you truly are is about what you like and dislike. It is also about the values you espouse. Therefore, you should not try to be someone else when you write. You could use other writers as muses, but you can’t emulate other writers when you write. It will do nothing but frustrate you and negatively impact your writing.

  1. Don’t be scared when you write

Many of us fret and stew when we write. You may think you don’t measure up to other successful writers. But the truth is that you don’t have to measure up to anyone when you write. All you should worry about is yourself and what you are writing about at the moment. If you focus on what you’re doing instead of critiquing yourself as you write, you will be a lot more authentic and productive when you sit down to write.

Many of you worry about producing the perfect manuscript right away. That is a sure recipe for uncertainty and even psychological paralysis. The process of revision should take care of the unrealistic urge for us to produce quality manuscripts right away. Just revise your manuscript a few times and the rest will take care of itself.

  1. Write from the heart

There is nothing more important to become an authentic writer than to write from the heart. When you write from the heart, you can take the time to be passionate about what you are writing about. This can help you become more of who you truly are as you write. So, it’s a win-win for everyone.

But more importantly, when you write from the heart, you’ll discover how you feel about different aspects of your writing. You may even discover your likes and dislikes as well.

  1. Write about what you’re passionate about

To write passionately, you must be passionate about a topic. It is important to write about things you are passionate about. Don’t bother writing about things you are not interested in.

Many of you write about topics that you’re not interested in and sometimes don’t even care about. There is nothing more detrimental to becoming an authentic writer.

If you write about things you dislike, how can you enjoy writing? You can’t possibly enjoy writing and sitting down to write every day will become a dreadful chore.

  1. Make writing enjoyable for you

Many of you find writing a drag. However, you know that you have to write often to be successful. So, you get into your office and simply get your writing over with. This is one sure way of developing an aversion towards writing.

Instead, what you should do is to create a space of peace and serenity in your office. You should play some pleasant background music that you enjoy and relax. You can also bring sprigs of lavender and flowers into your office. This can help you relax more. Keep your office space as pleasant and enjoyable as possible.

  1. Take steps to relax when you write

How many of you come into your office ready to write filled with worry? When I asked this question at my critique group, I was surprised to discover how many of us take our worries and pains with us into our office when we sit down to write.

Worry and stress can be a real burden to productivity. It is also hard to write authentically when your feel stressed. So, we need to take steps to relax before we get into our office to write.

One way to relax is to try a centering exercise before you start writing:

Close your eyes and take two or 3 diaphragmatic breathes.

Then think of a peaceful scene that you visited. It could be walking on the warm sand along a beautiful, picturesque, and serene beach or basking in the sun. Breathe deeply. Think of how relaxed you felt and how content you were.

Spend another few minutes basking in this comfortable place. Take a few more deep breaths and then return to the here and now.

By taking these steps, you will become a more authentic writer. And you will enjoy a peace of mind that can only lead to being productive and happy.


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Irene S. Roth has a Master’s Degree in Philosophy and Psychology from York University and is currently using her expertise to write for kids about empowerment and self-esteem. She has published ten nonfiction books for kids and teens and fifty books for adults as well as over a thousand articles both online and in print. She has been running workshops at Savvy Authors on many different topics for writers over 3 years now. She also leads a very successful mentoring group for writers on Savvy Authors that is in its third year.