Have you ever been in the presence of a person who has tried to be something or someone he or she is not? What is the first thing you say about that person? You say the person is fake or you call attention to the abilities that he or she lacks: She can’t do this or that. She’s not even smart enough for that. She needs to act right.
What you are saying in these words is that the person needs to be herself instead of trying to be something or someone else. This kind of fakeness, or phoniness, shows up or reveals itself in other ways, particularly in writing. When we try to use phrases and words in the wrong context, words that are just unusable for the kind of sentence we are writing, we appear phony and our writing lacks that genuine feel. We are not authentic.
The best solution to phoniness is this: Cultivate your own signature. Everyone has a thumbprint. Everyone has a signature, a way of writing that is recognizable even when you leave that professor’s class. Stay true to yourself. Stay true to your writing. Don’t make it ever a primary mission to impress. When you establish a goal to impress someone, you have just moved into a state of phoniness. In other words, you have set a goal to be less than genuine.
Just be yourself in person and in your writing.
Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.