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Authenticity is incredibly important these days as people are sick of the marketing spin that is used by so many. You as an individual are unique and therefore no one else can be like you. Your writer's voice needs to be just as authentic – but how do you find that authentic voice?
Julia McCutchen is the founder and creative director of the International Association of Conscious and Creative Writers (IACCW) where writers discover their authentic voice – on the page and in the world. Julia is also an intuitive writer's coach, mentor and professional publishing consultant based in the UK, as well as the author of ‘The Writer's Journey: From Inspiration to Publication'.
In this podcast, you will learn:
- About Julia's own journey through publishing, consultancy to the facilitation of other people's authentic voice. After an accident that left her unable to work for a year, Julia reassessed her life and started focusing on mentoring writers. She has recently started IACCW which teaches the principles of being a conscious and creative writer, as well as the practical tools for publishing.
- What is the writer's voice? Journey into yourself to discover who you are authentically, combining your unique gifts and expression in congruent forms and then reaching as many people as you can with it. Expressing your own truth in the world – through content and style.
- How does writing fiction novels benefit others in the world? Example of Marian Keyes, chick-lit author – she includes authenticity when she speaks about her success. Write a book that others would like to read. Storytelling is an important part of the human experience. People pick up on a resonance of truth.
- Why it's important to discover your authentic voice. You can access a deeper part of your true creative potential. It's also a great way to stand out in an incredibly crowded marketplace. There are millions of aspiring authors, but you are unique so no one else can be you. Authenticity is one of your greatest strengths. Fame and fortune also tend to be the preserve of the few, therefore being authentic can be a reward in itself, along with creative satisfaction.
- How do you find your authentic writer's voice? Julia discusses the 5 main points as follows: (1) Stop and be still in the present moment. (2) Embrace the mystery. (3) Sharpen your senses. (4) Explore new possibilities. (5) Go with the flow.
- How to combine the practicalities of being authentic through your online presence and your marketing efforts. People want a real connection. For example, put a real picture of you on your site so it is personal and original.
- Write from your heart but pay attention to the publishing market. You will get the best results this way!
You can reach Julia at IACCW, as well as at JuliaMcCutchen.com. She is also on Twitter @JuliaMcCutchen
Perhaps I’m being “old school” here, but my ownb feeling is that this sort of authenticity is an issue that transcends the craft and profession of writing. It is a moral issue, in the sense that it involves a fundamental decision about how one habitually presents oneself to others.
In my own values, I recognize an imperative for an honest presentation of self to others as an element of one’s day-to-day relationships. Anyone who finds it necessary to make a special effort to be authentic as a writer should perhaps review their life choices in the realm of authenticity generally.
Just a thought,
Joanna Penn says
That’s true Steve – we just thought it was important when people online seem to portray a side of themselves that might not be authentic. It was an encouragement that you can be yourself, you don’t have to be anyone else.
For me personally, this was giving up on trying to write like Umberto Eco and going for thrillers like action movies which is what I love to read! Thanks.
Writer Chick says
This is an inspiring podcast- thank you! There was one sticking point for me however. Marian Keyes books may have bright pink and yellow covers, but they are often about serious topics such as alcohol abuse and domestic violence. She’s a great writer, who manages to successfully deal with difficult topics in a light and humorous way. Her publishers decide on her covers and market her work as ‘Chick Lit’ but I think the term downplays the value and content of her work, as is sadly the case with many female authors. She commented on this in an interview in 2014 with Canada’s Chatelaine magazine. She said that she is now okay with being labelled ‘Chick Lit’, but it used to bother her ‘because it’s so belittling – and it’s meant to be belittling. It’s as if it’s saying, “Oh you silly girls, with your pinkness and shoes, how will you ever run the world?” But as I’ve matured (haha) I’ve realised that I’m very proud of what I write about and I know that the books I write bring happiness and comfort to people. I wish that our world was far less patriarchal than it is, but we’re all doing our best to bring about positive changes.’ I thought it was interesting that the two women speaking in this interview seemed to be unaware of this incongruity between Keyes’ actual work and their presentation. I would encourage them both to have a second read and consider how they would respond to the work if the cover were more somber and arty and the author were male. Would they still be surprised that a novel such as Rachel’s Holiday, which deals with the author’s own recovery from alcohol addiction was in some way connected to authenticity?