Finding opportunities for authenticity
I believe it is important for us to enjoy what we do.
All of the time? Regrettably difficult. Most of the time? Yes. If you spend eight hours a day writing fundraising emails, call scripts or social media posts, you would hope to enjoy most of it. That is, to find gratification in the process and not just the results, whatever those may be for you.
Seizing opportunities to communicate authentically is key, in part, to that.
An online search for “authentic writing” presents it as a solution for teachers trying to get students to take interest in classroom writing assignments.
The most common ideas floating around for promoting authentic writing are as follows:
- Encouraging students to share their writing through a blog post or a podcast.
- Defining a real-life audience for their pieces.
While these ideas can and do work, they tip-toe around the root of what makes genuine communication enjoyable for the communicator:
The opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings on meaningful subjects.
We could talk at length about what individuals find personally meaningful (it varies). Suffice to say, authenticity comes through when a person can find a way to connect the subject matter back to something in their own life.
To illustrate, for students, writing about World War II would be a less compelling exercise than writing about the themes that World War II represents—oppression, the pitfalls of unchecked power, the struggle for justice.
In a way, authentic communication is the easiest way to communicate; there are, after all, an endless number of connections we can make between our lives and the outside world. The problem is the sheer number of ways we are incentivized against it. For example, to conform to the voice of a brand-
There is this notion that anything that falls under the umbrella of “branded” is implicitly inauthentic. If you take the case of a single person, communicating in their own voice (a personal brand, if you will), the notion is simply not true.
In the end, we put personal satisfaction derived from this form of communication aside and come back to our audience. What does our authenticity mean for them? Relatability, leading to trust, leading to meaningful connections.
I find truth in this statement, and maybe you do too: No institution or organization or campaign has managed to move me as an individual has.
See you next time,