I keep thinking about Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah. When asked why she decided to give the interview, she said it was to tell the truth. Telling the truth, living in reality, releases a person of burden. It’s so cumbersome to tell a lie because you have to remember what you said and to who.
I know in this day and age it seems like we live in a “post-truth” world and that reality doesn’t matter. I disagree. The truth always matters because we don’t live in separate, isolated bubbles. We are all bumping up against one another like the atoms we’re made of. That means what we say and what we do matters. It means our words, our actions have an impact. For Meghan, the constant barrage of criticism and the inability to live in alignment with her values led to suicidal ideation. She wanted to end her life. That’s a big deal. A very big deal.
She also said during the interview that the British tabloids don’t report the news, they create the news. What a powerful statement, primarily because it’s true. I’ve never worked for a tabloid but when I interned for a London website during college, they had no qualms about plagiarism. In fact, they encouraged me to copy and paste content from other websites. As a freelance content writer, I know that’s something you DO NOT do. Not only because it’s ethically wrong, but also because your website gets dinged and it lowers your ranking on search engines. You’re much better off writing original content, or hiring a content writer such as myself to write original content.
Meghan spoke specifically of British tabloids, but creating the news is not exclusive to those publications. Even here in the U.S. the media doesn’t have the same sanctity it used to. It’s not as respected or as noble as it was. Instead, media is another money-making business. I want to underscore here that’s a dangerous direction. It can literally lead to death.
In my work as a freelance journalist, I still care about the truth. I report on facts, not hearsay. I don’t make things up for fun. (If I want to make something up, that’s what fiction is for!) What about my work as a freelance content writer? Or a freelance ghostwriter? Isn’t there more leeway there to lie? Maybe for some people, but for me, even with those pieces I tell the truth. I interview people, I report on what they’ve told me. I cite statistics where applicable. If I’m ghostwriting someone’s opinion, I make sure to note it’s their opinion by the language I choose.
Some people may think content writing and ghostwriting is only about drumming up business. That’s not how I view it. I think of myself as someone who is shining a light on the business, broadcasting who they are for the world to see. And if the foundation is built on lies, the business is as shaky as a house of cards and comes tumbling down at the first gusty wind. Telling the truth is better for everyone.
If you’re interested in some truth telling for your business, reach out to me. I’d love to see if we’re a good fit.