Your Best Face Forward

The temptation, when writing for an audience, is to only capture the things that make you look good, to paint yourself in the best light possible. We puff up, inflate credentials, and speak with more authority than we have. One problem with writing this way is it makes you unrelatable.

But being unrelatable is a small issue that can be fixed. The real danger with writing in the inflated self is that you are no longer communicating in your true voice. When this happens, you come across as untrustworthy.

It’s why actors like Daniel Day-Lewis and the late Heath Ledger invest so much time and effort into not simply understanding, but becoming the role they are cast to play: We humans are pretty good at picking up on someone who is acting out of character.

And while being unrelatable is detrimental to building an audience, if you’re interesting enough, people just might give you a chance to show them common ground. Come across as untrustworthy, though, and you’ve lost the audience for good.