A Journey To Authentic Writing

imagesSo it’s now September. A new month, a new term, a new season. A time of new beginnings for many of us. There’s always something beautiful about Autumn, almost as if the old is passing and the new is beginning.

And appropriately enough, today is a new beginning on this blog. Going deeper, more focussed, more authentic and vulnerable than I’ve ever been before. And my hope is as I explore this I can help you in a more powerful way than ever before. 

Because that’s why I publish this blog. To help you, my readers. The great people who show up every week to read my work, many of whom have been so encouraging with their feedback, and others I have never interacted with. But I’m grateful to you all. 

So why the new beginning? And what’s to come in this next turn of the page? 

For that, I need to tell you a story. 

I’ve been blogging for about 8 years now. I began as an amateur blogger, with a wordpress blog and no subscribers, no books, and no writer friends. Blogging was simply an outlet for my thoughts, and occasionally in my mind I would fantasise about me becoming a world famous writer and speaker, but never really considered it.

Then I got writing coaching, and following this did the Tribe Writers course. I became more professional, got a self-hosted blog and a professional designed banner, I invested money in my blog, and wrote a couple of e-books. My subscriber list grew. 

Blogging was fun at first. I was ultimately doing it for myself, with no clear direction or focus, just writing about what grabbed my attention. 

But this soon began to change.

Once I embraced professionalism, the fantasies I had, the ego behind the writer (and believe me, many of us writers have egos, if not all of us, on some level) was awakened. I began to write to impress others, my blog became a public voice. And what happened was my writing became less and less authentic, and more and more about building up numbers. 

I deceived myself this was simply me being professional, but it was in reality my own fantasies about success, status and importance seemingly on the verge of becoming reality, and me desperately reaching out to gain them. 

I wasn’t writing to help others, I was writing to impress them.

And over time, I began to fall out of love with blogging.

Time For A Change

I’ve always liked the concept behind blogging. The opportunity to share ideas with people in a free online space, and to build community and relationship with my readers up close. 

But what I love about blogging – and what I and many others have forgotten at times – is it gives us the opportunity to be brutally honest and authentic with our readers. At it’s best, it should be a space we can develop and share ideas honestly, even with their sharp edges. A place to explore and refine ideas. 

This is how blogging began. And despite all the platform building voices we hear nowadays, the best blogs are ones where this still happens. 

If you did want to look at it from the purely platform building perspective, I always believe when it comes down to it, people value authenticity. They want honesty, people who won’t sugarcoat things, and understand in reality, life isn’t perfect and there isn’t always a happy ever after, and are willing to be honest about this. 

And although most writers want to grow their following, so they can get their work to as many as possible, I think the best writers are the ones more concerned with being authentic.

I lost that for a while. I was more concerned with impressing than serving, more interested in image than authenticity. And the realisation of this – which I’ll share in a future blog post – led me to quit public blogging. And that break, and much reflection since I came back, has led me to this point, and to this decision.


So from today, I’m going to be more authentic in my blogging, and my writing.

I’m going to blog about issues I’m passionate about. This begins with writing, creativity, and being authentic in our work and our life. 

I care deeply about groups of people who have had parts of or even their entire identity suppressed or denied them in some way. So I’ll be writing about how we can discover our true identity and topics linked to it. This passion is why I’m so passionate about empowering women and issues around LGBT and faith. I may well explore those too. 

And anything else which stirs my heart. Any part of my story which I believe can encourage and benefit you

It’s all going to be here.

I’ve got a book out next Easter on grace, which you can find out more about here – and I’ll be writing about that too. And I’m working on another book too, on writing – and another project, which you’ll all find out more about in due course, again, here.

I’m not going to be afraid to bear my heart. If it’s unpopular or I lose readers as a result then so be it. I have to be true to my writers spirit, to what my heart is saying. I will unfurl my energies here, reach deep inside myself and strip my heart bare – and my hope is it inspires you, challenges you and helps you grow. 

That’s why I write publicly now. Not for money, fame or status. But to help you.

Because it’s the right thing to do. It’s why I was given the gift of writing. It’s what all gifts are given for.

Using our gifts to serve others is what we’re all called to do. (you can tweet that)

I’ve experienced so many words of encouragement, so many great comments, about my writing and it’s impact on others. And the feeling I get deep in my soul when reading these words, has meant more to me than any amount of money ever could. 

All I can say in response is thank you. And my hope is what is to come here can be as much, if not more, of an encouragement and help to you as what I’ve already shared.

It’s time for me, and for us all, to write a new story with our lives. A story where we grow and flourish, but only to empower others to do the same.

So let’s begin. Are you with me?

Question for Reflection:

Are you using your gifts to serve others…or yourself?

Discuss this in the comments below!



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Picture Sources: Online Source & Wordswag/James Prescott 

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  1. Bob Holmes on September 1, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Awesome James! I have stacks and stacks of posts I’ve never published. Why? Because they miss the point of serving other people. Good work! Looking forward to hearing from you. Putting you in my read feed.

    • James Prescott on September 1, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      Thanks Bob, appreciate your comment & your wonderful encouragement and support. It means a lot to me. Going to be some great stuff on writing, creativity and other subjects here in coming weeks which I’m sure you’ll love. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Jeff Goins on September 1, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Encouraged to see you sharing this, James. Good for you.

    • James Prescott on September 1, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      Thanks for that encouragement Jeff, and for taking the time to comment. Appreciate it.

  3. Bob Nailor on September 1, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Exception blog this week. Well said. I, too, have had to step back and re-evaluate my blog and writing tips I offer to others. Perhaps I get too big for my pants and need to be taken down a notch. It is about helping others, not impressing them. As my friend told me a long time ago – they met me, they’ve been impressed, now I just need to help them, not impress them more.

    • James Prescott on September 1, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      Wow, thanks Bob – that means a lot. Thanks for sharing your story so honestly, and I totally agree with you. Thanks again.

  4. Tara Fairfield on September 1, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    I pray I always use my gifts to serve others and glorify my savior. Through Him I can do all things. God Bless your work James!

  5. RebekahLyn on September 1, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Sometimes it is so hard to understand what our gifts are. We have to stop and listen to where God is leading us.

    • James Prescott on September 1, 2014 at 10:29 pm

      Absolutely Rebekah. Couldn’t agree more.

  6. Elyse Salpeter on September 2, 2014 at 12:33 am

    What a nice post! I think our blogs are sort of like our publishing life – it goes through stages as well – first thoughts, then to impress… I believe you write what you want, with your heart and people will come (or not come) but at the end of the day, you need to be true to yourself.

    • James Prescott on September 2, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      Thank you Elyse! And I love the metaphor you share here, so true. For me, writing is a metaphor for life, our lives are like writing. In many ways, our writing is a reflection of our life. Thanks for this great metaphor and comment!

  7. Faye on September 2, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Well done, James! Knowing who you are and what you’re called to do is essential! So glad you’re making the journey and that you are confidently moving ahead with what you’ve learned. Way to go!

    • James Prescott on September 2, 2014 at 6:47 pm

      Thank you Faye! Yes, I totally agree with you, and really thankful for your support and encouragement, it means a lot to me. Thanks 🙂

  8. Jayna Coppedge on September 2, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Our lives are such a journey of change. God is closing a door of ministry of 25 years. I am optimistic and scared as i look to the future. It is good to have some authentic travel companions.

    • James Prescott on September 2, 2014 at 6:46 pm

      Yes, completely agree Jayna – thanks for sharing this metaphor and example for us, really appreciate it. Thanks for your comment!

  9. Christa Sterken on September 2, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    James, so appreciate the vulnerability you are sharing here. I agree with you, regardless of all the platform stuff (which can suck the joy out of writing), we all want to read authentic, heartfelt words. Good for you!

    • James Prescott on September 2, 2014 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks Christa, really grateful for your encouragement and support, glad you agree with me too. Thanks again 🙂

  10. lisajey on September 2, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Writing authentically is the ONLY way to write. Good luck James! I know you’ll do well! 🙂

    • James Prescott on September 3, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      Spot on Lisa Jey, and thanks for the support & belief in me. Appreciated.

  11. David Mike on September 3, 2014 at 1:23 am

    I’m fairly new to your blog, but I like what you’re writing!

    • James Prescott on September 3, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      Thanks David, that means a lot – thanks for the encouragement, and keep reading, got lots more where that came from 🙂

  12. Lisa M. Collins on March 9, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Using blogging as an author platform is a good thing if it is done with authenticity. Readers and publishers want to see that you are more than one dimensional. They want to see how you are affected by the world around you and how you respond.

    • James Prescott on March 9, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      Absolutely Lisa, totally agree. Thanks for your comment!

  13. mnicholeh on March 9, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    Be authentic and be REAL no matter what you are doing in life. It’s the only way! Great post James.

    • James Prescott on March 9, 2015 at 7:43 pm

      Thanks Nichole – totally agree, and thanks for the encouragement!

  14. charles dougherty on March 9, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    Good post, James. If you don’t feel what you write, and vice versa, nobody will care what you wrote — not even you. You did a good job of bringing the point home.

  15. […] This is how blogging began. And despite all the platform building voices we hear nowadays, the best blogs are ones where this still happens. ~ James Prescott […]

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