One of the most challenging aspects writers struggle with, myself included, concerns writing content that is honest, with integrity, and transparent. What does this mean? How does one go about accomplishing this? And, how does mindfulness influence one’s ability to write with honesty, integrity, and transparency? This article will break this down and share what it means to accomplish this. It will also encourage you to fully commit yourself to a writing lifestyle that melds mindfulness into your own unique style and voice. Remember, writing mindfully is a sacred art form of expression. To write mindfully means to communicate and express ideas that make a significant impact and influence your readers and audience. It does not have to convince someone. All it does is move them to a place of understanding and consideration.
What you discover is how these three are interdependent of one another and based on the foundation of understanding who you are as a writer and how you are able to convey your sense of authenticity through the written word. After all, is not this the goal? To share ourselves to our readers?
Being Honest in Your Writing
Understanding that mindfulness is about being present, focused, and aware of our own emotional experience without judgment and criticism: we are able to explore those emotions on a deeper and authentic level. Writing is an emotional experience. Not just for the writer. It is also an emotional experience for those who take the time to read what we’ve written. Being honest means we understand our own emotions and how those emotions may elicit a prescribed response within our readers. Whether it is fiction or non-fiction – there is emotion melded into the words we choose.
Writing honestly means we are staying true to our thoughts and emotions in a mindful mannerTweet
Think about some of the articles that have inspired you. Some of the stories you’ve read. What emotions came up as you’ve read them? How powerful were the words to evoke such emotions and thoughts? Did it challenge your present beliefs and values? What impact did that have on you as a person? Without honesty, our writing will be flat and ineffective in influencing and impacting other people.
Another aspect of writing honestly is how we personalize our voice, style, attitude, and tone when it comes to sharing things that are deeply personal. Attaching our own stories, perceptions, experiences, and attitudes help humanize the content. From vocabulary.com humanizing means:
To humanize is to make things more humane and easier for humans to relate to and appreciate. A biography of a murderer could humanize the murderer if it showed he had a terrible life growing up. A factory could be humanized if conditions are made less dangerous. In general, if you’re a human, to humanize something is a good thing. If you’re a robot, get your own word!
There is a shared connection within us as sentient beings. That connection is in our own shared experiences of life. Our stories we tell. For example, one of the reasons sober support community groups thrive and are successful is because of these shared stories and connections. Hearing people share their own personal experiences, emotions, thoughts, and perceptions helps us. It is nurturing, inspiring, and faith-promoting. Unfortunately, our shared stories and experiences may also be used as a means of division and contention. Promoting anger, hatred, wrath, and indignation.
So, how do you humanize your content? Julia McCoy shares these insights in her article: How to Humanize Your Content and Appeal to Your Readers:
- Connect on an emotional level
- Listen to your readers and be responsive
- Let your hair down
- Just be human
- Follow through
And, here is what she says about humanizing ones content:
Does your content reflect the power of you? Is it humanized? Humanizing your content is more important now than ever. In this era of social media and constant contact, you don’t want to portray your brand as a cold, faceless corporate robot. You want your brand to be the warm, smiling face that welcomes people with open arms. You want to hand readers something authentic and genuine, something they can connect to—something human.
By being honest and true to our own personal reflections, perspectives and perceptions, values and beliefs, and thoughts and emotions – helps us became relatable and human in our writing. Through mindfulness, we explore and share how our emotions and thoughts helps us understand and make sense of what we are going through. It gives the writer a platform to share their own stories in a way that engages the reader.
Writing with Integrity
According to Walden University Evidence-Based Arguments: Writing with Integrity we find this definition:
Writing with integrity means the author is writing using his or her own words and being sure to not inadvertently mislead the reader about whether an idea was the writer’s own. Writing with integrity is about rephrasing ideas in the author’s own words and understanding, while also providing credit to the original source.
Some years ago, I belonged to a writing social community called Writers Cafe. There, I had published a prose regarding something quite personal and emotional. This prose has long since disappeared over the years. However, I was searching for it online and had come across someone who literally copied and pasted the entire text of the prose and claimed it to be their own. Shock, anger, and frustration. I confronted the individual and they ended up deleting the prose from their profile. It was not the fact that the person shared it that bothered me. It was the fact that she took ownership of what I wrote from a deep personal and emotional level as if it were her own words, thoughts, and emotions. Soon, thereafter, I deleted all of my writing and closed down my profile.
Writing with honesty and integrity means we own our own thoughts and emotions. Those are idiosyncratic . And while it is true – there is nothing new under the sun – we still have a unique style, voice, and attitude when it comes to sharing our own personal thoughts and emotions. It also means we take the time to research information in order to familiarize ourselves with the thoughts, emotions, and perspective of other people. This helps us present information in a manner that reflects our own unique personality.
Simply defined, writing with integrity means we are writing content that is being honest and based on strong moral principles that is whole and undivided.
Being Transparent in Your Writing
Finally, we move to where our writing reflects who we are. Transparent means we have no hidden agenda. There is nothing to hide. It is the root of authenticity. As we write – we are revealing how we understand and interpret things in order to engage, influence, and impact our captive audience. Being transparent in our writing also helps us shape the uniqueness of our own voice, style, and attitude. Benjamin Watkins shares this in his article Be Transparent in Your Writing and Your Stories Will Be Unique:
- Write Without Having a Care in the World
- Write with Emotion
- Write with a purpose
Reflecting on these three concepts, I have my own unique observation.
First, writers (at least from what I’ve gathered in participation in various writing forums, and discussions) tend to fear criticism. Whether it is the thought that people may not understand what is being conveyed, fear of judgment and criticism if someone takes offense to the content that is written. While we do not want to be dismissive of our audiences emotional experience to the content itself, we also do not want to waste time and energy in having to defend our own writing. What I mean by this is that people are going to find some reason to take offense to what we share. In my experience, when someone takes offense to something I’ve written and shared, it is because of:
- They may not fully understand and comprehend what was written
- Made quick false assumptions
- Evoked strong emotions that challenge presently held views and beliefs
- Convicted them of something
For example, I had written a three part apologetical article in response to something I felt was misleading. I shared the second part of this series in a Facebook Group and an individual appeared to have taken an immediate offense. Not only did they take offense to the article, they took offense to the actual website. This appeared to be due to the individuals lack of understanding the perspective I was writing from. Their thought was the site and the article attacked the same religious belief I subscribed too. Unfortunately, others attempted to reason with this individual. Yet, they still harbored judgment and criticism unapologetically. Yes, it was quite frustrating – however, no sense of reasoning was going to deter the individuals rigid belief and presumption.
If you, as a writer, concern yourself with whether or not someone is going to take offense to what you share – it is going to be a barrier in presenting your own unique voice to something that may inspire and influence others.
Second, and as expressed above, when we write from our own emotional experience, we are humanizing the content. Providing our captive audience with something intimate and unique to us. As we not only write from our own emotional viewpoint, we want to be mindful in how this may prove to be relatable to others.
Finally, when we write from a place that is honest, with integrity, and being transparent, we are literally writing with a sense of meaning and purpose. There is a deep motivating factor that commits us to sharing our stories with other people. When we write mindfully, our writing becomes more meaningful. It becomes engaging. Hopefully, it influences and impacts our audience.
To give you an example of how to write content that is honest, with integrity, and is transparent – James 1:1-4 | Genuine Faith and Trials. Not only read the article, read the comments the article has received. The hope is to share how a writer is able to utilize the power of their own voice to engage, influence, and impact those who read your content.
For the past several weeks, the objective was to develop a greater awareness and implement strategic principles for effective mindful writing. These articles focused on:
- Orienting, organizing, and prioritizing
- Establishing initial disciplines for mindful writing
- Establishing consistent daily disciplines for mindful writing
- Develop and implement efficient and effective Time Management
- Develop and implement strategic research
- Utilize strategic Note Taking for effective writing
- Develop and implement effective writing that is honest, with integrity, and transparent
If you have not already read through the above articles – please do so throughout the next week. Participate in the weekly mindful journaling exercises implementing these writing techniques and recommendations to improve your voice, style, attitude, and tone.
Next week, I will introduce the 7-day Content Writing Strategy: A System to Help You Avoid Last Minute Content Writing. This strategy plan will walk you through identifying content ideas, plan out the structure of your content, edit and proofread for final publication in order to publish quality content that is engaging, influential, and impacting.
All 7 articles and the content strategy planning system will be available in E book form within the next 30-days. What this means is that once the E-book is published, these articles will not be available for general readership. The publication will go to help support this website. Hopefully, within the first of the year 2021, I will have developed an 8-Week Sacred Art of Mindful Writing boot camp style curriculum.
Feel free to comment and share your thoughts on how this helps you with your writing.