If I’m Told to Find My Authentic Voice One More Time I’m Going to Explode

To write well, the writer must pick between good ideas and bad ideas. Given a buffet of ideas to experiment with, the writer must ask: what do I choose? what do I say no to? In this way, every writer participates in discrimination.

This is what I mean by discrimination. Every writer must be a judge of their own experience (what’s worth writing about?) and their cognitive capacity (what do I understand? / what don’t I understand?) Without this judgment, the writer plunges into the depths without a headlight. Worse, they take us along the perilous journey.

Every writer has two choices. Either string together hollow phrases devoid of meaning, or fill the page with hypostasis – with substance, with blood, with life.

Phrases like “Find Your Authentic Voice” and “Live Your Truth” are as hollow as a cask. They invoke nothing more than an automatic head nod and a yasss queen! They position the mouth of whoever espoused it on top of the influencer intelligentsia hierarchy.

Who would have guessed that it only takes 5 or 6 words to come across as having a clue? Of course it isn’t just the words that makes these lifeless phrases so intoxicating. As the history of propaganda shows, repetition is super effective. The more way repeat a mantra, the more familiar it becomes, thus the less we’re inclined to ask where the hell it came from and if the idea is actually useful.

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