I had the privilege of attending a banquet recently where the guest speaker was a comedian. He was a hoot!! I mean, he was so funny people held onto their stomachs laughing so hard. His humor was clean, so no one felt awkward. What made this guy so humorous was that he was truly being himself. He shared stories from his childhood and more recent experiences, too. He had learned to laugh at himself, and then gave us the opportunity to laugh with him. He was a great storyteller.
Years back, before internet, I received a letter from my sister while I lived in another country. Each sentence was truly my sister. The way she processes her thoughts were in every line I read. My heart squeezed with longing. I laughed at her humor and missed her as much as she said she missed me. The letter was special because she was being herself. Her essence was in every word written.
As a writer of a novel, blog, or letter, it’s important that I’m genuine. That doesn’t mean that I cannot develop my character and become a better person. It certainly doesn’t mean I don’t need to learn more about the craft of writing. It simply means I shouldn’t try to copy someone else’s voice or personality. Fake will show itself and turn readers away. Genuineness will delight, inspire, and pull the reader in. Of course, their will be those who do not like who you are. That’s okay. You cannot please everyone, so don’t try. But more people will be drawn to your writing if you are genuine than if you try something that doesn’t come natural to you.
Nothing is more painful than to have to listen to someone trying to be funny when they are completely out of their element. You want to laugh because you feel so badly for them, but it almost hurts to force a chuckle out. If you’re better at drama, then please delight us with a heartwarming story. We enjoy those, too.
Here’s another reason to be yourself. It’s difficult to be fake all the time. As an author, you will be meeting your readers face to face before long, and they will soon be disappointed that the person behind the book is very different from the person standing in front of them. But if you are genuine, you’ll be more of what you’ve already shown in your writing. You will be able to connect better with your audience when face to face. Those that are drawn to who you authentically are will most likely also be drawn to your writing.