Skip to content

Weekly dose of self-improvement

Sign up
writing skills

Quick tips on authentic writing

Every writer wants to make a deep impact. The way to do this is through authentically real writing. This article gives a few tips on crafting authentic writing.

Ed Latimore
Ed Latimore
Writer, retired boxer, self-improvement enthusiast

Above all things, be yourself.

During the writing process, embrace whatever comes to mind. Don’t have an emotional reaction to it. The goal is to produce something that impacts people in the real world.

The format of your writing doesn’t matter. The genre of your writing doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that you bleed on the page.

Many writers think authentic writing only has a place in certain mediums or genres. They think they need to say things a certain way to please people. However, there is no special way to say something. There is no special topic to write about that will please everyone.

There is only authenticity. The purpose of your writing isn’t even really to entertain, educate, or inspire. The real purpose of your writing is to communicate the ideas in your head.

Authenticity is so powerful because it is, by definition, impossible to fake.

To be anything but authentic is a disservice to both you and your audience.

When you’re an authentic writer, you attract an authentic audience. An authentic audience will appreciate everything you put on the paper because they know that you’re writing for real.

Writing for real

Do you feel a little nervous when you’re about to hit “publish”? Do you feel like perhaps you shouldn’t have written what you wrote?

This is the greatest sign that your writing is authentic.

When you write authentically, the goal isn’t to impress someone or appeal to an intended audience. The goal is to express what you know with clarity, precision, and accuracy. The best way to do this is not to worry about writing for a specific genre or externally imposed metric.

Instead, simply write what you know because the reality is that you can’t do anything else anyway.

Gaining a real audience from your authentic writing

An authentic life is the exposed and examined life.

It’s the life that teaches from both good and bad experiences. When living authentically, you may be hated or loved, but you will never be mistrusted or disrespected.

Even people who don’t like your writing or your message will still respect your expression, refusal to pander, sidestep, or pull punches. Because you don’t try to specifically please anyone, you end up the favorite of more people than you ever possibly anticipated.

This is how you build a real audience.

Unfortunately, many writers try to write to a specific audience or genre and try to make themselves a fit for that group. This is the opposite of authentic expression.

Never write for external approval. Write for internal satisfaction.

The authentic writer writes for personal satisfaction and authentic expression. This is not to say that they don’t earn income and recognition from their writing; only that those things are secondary to the expression.

When you write for reasons that are important to you, you’ll always be motivated. If you write because you think it’s a path to riches, you will get frustrated and resign.

[Read:  7 reasons why writing is important]

That is not to say that you can’t make money writing. However, if the ONLY reason you write is to get paid and you dislike communicating via the written word, your chances of success dramatically decrease.

There are many ways to make money with the written word. With that said, if you’re only writing because you think it’s easy, you may discover that you don’t have the temperament or the aptitude to write.

You’ll discover that anything is difficult when you don’t want to do it. Even—and especially, at times—writing.

If you hate writing but want to build an authentic audience

If you hate writing or lack the temperament to do it, there’s nothing I can do about that.

Nothing will make you a writer if you don’t like writing. If you lack the ability to, that can be fixed by training with various writing tasks, writing projects, and writing prompts.

However, if you don’t have the stomach or the patience that it takes, and you’re hell-bent on making a location independent living in a way that only the internet can provide, consider other skills like:

  • Podcasting
  • Coding
  • Web Design
  • Audiobooks
  • Graphic Design

I know guys recommend copywriting and producing e-books as a quick way to make money, but if you hate writing, then it won’t matter. If you aren’t willing to expose yourself and teach from your experiences, you tremendously handicap yourself.

The key to authentic writing is passionate living

You’ll likely find that writing for money isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

This is true with most things. If your only motivation is money, you will never rise to the level where you could be, and you’ll hate every moment of the climb.

The key to successful writing is authenticity. The key to authenticity is passionate living.

If you aren’t excited about what you write about, you won’t be able to excite others. If you aren’t passionate about the topics you cover, it will show in the quality of your writing. 

When you’re in the business of using words to make a living, you need to have lived. This ensures that you have something to put those words to. Your mood and mindset affect the words you use and the time you take putting those words together.

You will produce higher quality writing in less time, making you more money if you do it passionately.

Many technical skills contribute to my writing ability and productivity, but this is the lynchpin. I am passionate about every topic I write about. I don’t risk diluting that passion by being inauthentic or disingenuous.

Understand the meaning of passionate living and passionate writing

Don’t mistake my advice for saying that you have to always write exactly what you’ve experienced and no other writing is valid.

You can authentically and passionately write fiction. You can infuse energy into reports or sales letters. All that’s required is a genuine passion for using words to affect reality

You can be passionate about persuasion with words. You can be passionate about telling stories with words. You can even be passionate about just reading words.

However, there must be something about words that excites you. This passion will motivate you to express yourself authentically.

Like passion, authenticity transcends a specific genre.

The key to expressing yourself authentically in any genre is to only write what you are passionate about. I will never do journalism or reporting of any kind. I tried to report on local boxing and MMA matches once. It bored me to tears and made me hate writing.

However, I love using my writing to teach and entertain. I’m so-so on using my writing to persuade.

Therefore, my most authentic writing expresses itself where I’m either teaching or entertaining. It’s no coincidence that my blog, newsletter, and Twitter feed do exactly those things.

My success with those platforms speaks for itself. 

Ed Latimore
About the author

Ed Latimore

I’m a writer, competitive chess player, Army veteran, physicist, and former professional heavyweight boxer. My work focuses on self-development, realizing your potential, and sobriety—speaking from personal experience, having overcome both poverty and addiction.

Follow me on Twitter.