Authority and Voice

Last year, I developed a webinar for Parent Bloggers Network about writing techniques. I compiled this advice from my graduate writing program and from the curriculum I taught for two years in composition 101 at a local community college. That's a very long-winded way of saying I didn't make this stuff up. However -- and to my point -- just because you didn't make something up doesn't mean you can't write on it with authority, and that's what we're talking about here and on my companion post on authority for BlogHer.

Here are some thoughts about writing with authority:

  • Own your opinions. No "I think" or "I feel." That much is apparent from the fact you are writing about this topic. (On Writing Well, by William Zinsser)
  • Omit “little qualifiers.” No "a bit" or "in a sense" or "sort of." – Zinsser
  • Write about what you care about.
  • Make a point.

You can look more authoritative just by taking out qualifying words -- it's actually shocking how easy it is to do, once you get in the habit of it. Go look at a recent blog post of your own and play around with taking out any qualifying or filler words and read it back to yourself -- does it look different? Do you like it better? Did it affect your voice? Let me know what you think.

Related Reading:

Rita Arens authors Surrender Dorothy and is the editor of Sleep is for the Weak. She is BlogHer's assignment and syndication editor.