Engaging the Reader and Authenticity

Seems fairly simple. To engage the reader you must be authentic. But the challenge to gain a robust following extends beyond this. You also have to be original.

However, my theory is that originality is a positive side-effect of authenticity.

How Authenticity Fosters Originality

“Sometimes you just gotta be you”

Everyone is familiar with the old saying. What actually happens when one strives for authenticity? If you spend a significant amount of time cultivating a public image to the exclusion of personality traits that are unique, then “being you” is that image. So, the quest for authenticity is an organic one. You have to develop traits over time that are specific to your preferences. Considering this, originality is a natural extension of authenticity in my view.

Developing Authenticity

How does one develop authenticity though? The first obvious step is to reflect on the image you’ve cultivated. Taking away the lens of society, what would you change if you could?

“So now that I’ve relinquished all of these things, what’s next?” Good question. There’s also a conundrum. The quest for authenticity is also a cultural value, and so it’s difficult to view it authentically. This might be a hard thing to get past, but no benefit is gained dwelling on it. Even though it’s a social script, it can initially serve you well. Maybe it’s all those experiences taken together that help create a solid bedrock for authenticity. And that might be more to the point. Engaging the reader relies on writing from experience since you are more likely to create quality in-depth content that way.

Hmm, re-reading that, it’s not clear to me if I said anything insightful. To be honest, I’m not very used to writing in this format.



An hour before nightfall

Another spy fell through a cloud
Wondering where her next meal would come from
And if the moon and stars would break her fall
Apparently not

So many murmurs to follow
As if they were diseases to be hunted down
Their rise to power etched in the foreheads
Of the well-off
But they wouldn’t admit it
Too much at stake

An oil baron was chugging coffee at the local cafe
He did so with apparent abandon
Unaware of the pathogen racing through his veins
This was real
Something to be remembered

She would warn him, then extract payment for a debt
The door opened silently with a mere brush
A dimwitted, contemptuous gleam from the old man
Then he exploded into a cloud of red
Never to be heard from again

Oh well, she thought
There were other old men
Other diseased to follow
Night would come soon
And he would be scrubbed from stainless steel surfaces



Another morning
Facing the glitz of a vibrant city
So many routes to choose from
Involving humans
Or their favorite mutated canines

She coveted that sweet skyline
A futuristic vein running through it
That would convey her at a languid pace
To a pimple about to burst with academics
But it was too soon to talk about them

A little too soon
Why not enjoy the timeless balconies
And the pink rays of a fledgling sun as they bounced
Off reflective surfaces

From above
The canines seemed like shepherds
As it should be

via Daily Prompt: Abstract


I just had a thought about American exceptionalism, but I forgot.

Simple good

Don’t look now
It’s that word again
Creeping up on rigid pillars
Weaving its way through
Dark suburban bedrooms
And majestic kempt lawns
Stealing the thinking man’s hardhat

It needs to be expunged
Because categories are so delightful
Who is nuance, a word among many
To challenge that?
Complexity is just trying to be sneaky
Corrupting the natural order of 100 years ago

And buildings were demigods
Words from the academy sacrosanct
The grey-haired shamans from a simpler time
Reveled in anarchy

The economy was also good
Because it would bend to your mind
A seething complex thing that no one comprehended
But understood in crystal clarity when the time came


It was settled, then

He could see them through the door
Sitting and laughing
Not even anticipating him
But he was anticipating them
With a nervous light
A palpable energy

The teacher threw her head back, laughing with the rest of them
He tried to conjure images of a more pleasant occasion
Kicking a football off a water tower at night
Hearing his friends laugh and watching as the bright beams
From flashlights bounced around with aplomb
Then the nervous energy invaded the sweet night in question
A brilliant, nausea inducing sphere radiated blinding white
The night was over
His friends scattered
The football laid there, deflated

Maybe if he just stayed
Atop the water tower
Glancing at the white sphere and waiting for an eclipse
This unpleasantness would pass
It was settled
He would do that

The classroom was fading fast
The solution was so simple it was brilliant
Definitely eclipsing the sphere that had taken over everything