How to Tell the Truth When Writing a Blog Post
by Maria Borghoff
Recently, I received the most moving and heartfelt question from a friend.
She asked me, "How do I tell the truth in my writing?"
I was so touched by this question and her genuine desire to share her voice in a truthful way. It's a question that I ask myself every day, because I believe that honesty is the most fundamental aspect of human health.
So here is my response...
1. Go with your gut & speak from your heart.
When your writing is published online, it's easy to get caught in the way things "should be." Maybe you find yourself trying to measure whether or not people will actually care about what you write. To that I say - who cares if no one cares? If you speak from your heart and no one listens, then its time to surround yourself with a new crowd. But speaking from your heart is no easy task to begin with - it takes a radical sense of honesty and an open invitation for vulnerability.
So let yourself get really quiet, then ask yourself a question and start writing a response. Let your words flow without effort, without thought of who will read them and if it makes sense. There is always time for editing later.
2. Allow your process to be what it is.
The writing process, like any creative endeavor, is a natural progression that takes time. Simple as that. We cannot force ourselves to write a beautiful epic layered with meaning and emotion in the span of 1-2 hours. Instead, the most best works of art and literature (and truthfully potent blog posts) come from the blending of craft, care, and experimentation. It is a process of weaving together knowledge and experience, connecting to the voice of wisdom within your heart, and allowing your words to unfold in their own imperfect way.
So pay close attention to what inspires you. When you feel a gust of inspiration rising, let yourself be taken by the winds. Follow it until you get lost and you need to circle back around to the thing that started the whole process in the beginning. Your personal method is key - because it's the only tool you've got to be truthful.
3. You will always offend someone & you will always make a new friend.
The world is full of critics. And the internet is the perfect place for them to hide behind their screens as they launch their projections of hate and disapproval at you. But the world, and especially the internet, is also full of people who are hungry for what you have, seeking a sense of connection and inspiration that only you, speaking your truth, can give them. If you are constantly worried about offending someone with your words, you will never speak - and you will only deprive the people who need to hear your voice. Likewise, if you are desperate to make new friends and to be validated through your writing, you will most likely receive the validation that you seek - but it will never be as fulfilling as you'd hoped.
So before even thinking about how your words will be received, ask yourself why you are choosing to give. Why is writing your truth so important to you? What are you looking to get out of the whole experience?
4. Stop obsessing over the outcome.
Once you ask yourself what you want to achieve with your writing, take a good look at it... then drop that shit like it's hot. Because speaking your truth comes from the disregard of expectations and an indifference to the fruits of your actions. You cannot be afraid to speak your mind, but you also cannot be attached to what speaking your mind can create. It will only disappoint you, and there are enough ups-and-downs in the creative process already.
So instead of planning out the perfect scenario for success, let yourself be open to surprise.
I promise, it'll be worth it.