I go back and forth with my mom—a library media teacher—about information literacy: for me, the future of communications is not about authority, but authenticity. Below is a list of self-deceptions writers put into their writing from Writing to Be Read by Ken Macrorie (also author of Telling Writing) :

No writer knows how often he deceives himself and his reader until he becomes a professional and listens to the complaints of editors and readers. Then he often sees that he has unconsciously

  1. not written what really motivated him to put pen to paper, or
  2. not spoken truly when he thought he was being faithful to the world he experienced, or
  3. told only a small part of the truth, or
  4. forgotten to tell the reader the facts that make convincing what he insists the reader must be overwhelmed by, or
  5. grandly asks questions that everyone knows the answer to, or
  6. apologized for not being an expert on what he writes pages and pages about, or
  7. uses awkward and phony language that does not belong to him, or
  8. used six words where his reader needed only two.

The best writers commit these sins. You cannot rid your writing of them, but you can learn the identifying marks of the snakes and where they are likely to slither into your paragraphs.