How to Write Like a Human

Writing like a human goes way beyond writing conversationally.   

Writing like a human also requires cultivating courage, compassion and connection:

  • We practice the courage to show up, be ourselves, and be vulnerable.
  • We foster compassion in our writing … compassion both for ourselves and our learners.
  • We write to teach, but the human connection comes first.  

But how?

Wholehearted writers don’t write to impress, to inflate themselves, to show off as more expert than someone else.  

Brene Brown has spent two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy.  She’s a research professor at the University of Houston.  She has a PhD.  Her books are best sellers.  She’s delivered not one but two viral TED talks … the most popular one has been viewed 45 million times (wow!).  You’d think she knows how to live, right?  

She writes:  “I’ll confess that I was motivated by my own struggle to learn how to keep daring.”  

I used to think sharing our flaws, weaknesses, and struggles would damage our professional image, but is the opposite true?  

I got to appreciate Phillipa Cameron (last week’s article) more because she shares the mistakes she made in the hard living of a back country station.  Her own struggles to live more wholeheartedly, and her attempts to dare greatly.  

See your learners as equals. Wholehearted writers don’t write to impress nor to lecture.  

Instead, they’re compassionate and connect from one human being to another human being … as equals.  

As writers for eLearning we’re told to build our authority so learners become eager to read and learn from us.  But being an authority doesn’t mean we have to climb on a soap box to lecture or preach.  

We can be human and compassionate in our writing, and inspire our learners even more.  

Brene Brown’s TED talk The Power of Vulnerability  is well worth watching.