Honesty, having a conscious, and being able to remove the mask are some of the subjects “The Art of Influence” discusses. Why are the above key ideas to be a good essayist? Do readers really care if what one writes is their honest truth? These are the questions I ask myself when writing and I’m sure many others ask themselves those same questions. I often place myself in the shoes of a reader and ask myself what it that I’m looking for when reading others work as well as my own. I must say I agree with much of what “The Art of Influence” discusses. I laughed as I read the line in the essay stating that “A contract between the writer and reader has been drawn up, the essayist must then make good on it by delivering or discovering as much honesty as possible.” A contract really? I always thought a contract had to written out and signed by both parties because when I think of contracts, I think in the legal form. However, apart of me understands his theory and I as well understand that what the statement is saying is primarily fact, that one must write honestly keeping the reader in mind. I believe that statement also is stating that when one fails to write honestly, they in turn lose their readers.
“We must remove the mask.”
“The spectacle of baring the naked soul is meant to awaken the sympathy of the reader.”
My conscious doesn’t allow me to anything but honest in my writing. Choosing not to be does not set right with me because I feel that people can sense when you are being honest or just saying whatever sounds good. My thoughts on the subject of being able to remove the mask in my opinion, means being able to open up to your readers. The way to open up is simply baring it all as the second quotes states. How do we bare it all when there may be something one is afraid for the public eye to take notice of? Just do it, is what I will say. We will always in one way or another worry about what revealing ourselves may mean to others. We will always be afraid of the unknown. We will always feel that allowing our readers to know who we really are, means we are allowing them to judge us. If that is the case the best way to get over all of those issues is to simply as stated above “Do It”. “There is one thing the essayist cannot do-he cannot indulge himself in deceit or in concealment.” Another quote in “The Art of Influence” states “The conscience of the personal essay arises from the author’s examination of his or her prejudices.” Until we put ourselves out there in an honest way we are basically showing that our own prejudices influences our capability of writing openly, where then is our credibility?
“The Art of Influence” applies to ability as a writer because all of what was stated appealed to me. The messages appeal to me because the writer being described is the type of writer I aim to be. When I write I write for understanding and write so that others reading can see me and get to know through my writing. I try to connect with my readers so that they can take into perspective the message I’m aiming to get across. Reading “The Art of Influence” was a great way of allowing me to understand why being honest is best and universally should be our whole life’s way of thinking.