Writing

How to Write With Honesty: David Sedaris’s Tips

Written by the MasterClass staff

Last updated: Sep 13, 2021 • 5 min read

For a nonfiction writer, connecting to your reader hinges on your ability to be honest with them. Emotional honesty, embracing who you are, and admitting what you don’t always want to admit are a few things that distinguish a great essay from a good one. A reader knows when a writer is being fake or dishonest. It takes practice to let go of the urge to paint yourself in a good light.

For best-selling author and humorist David Sedaris, capturing all the little mortifications of life with unflinching honesty—down to every humiliating detail—is what makes his essays and one-off observations so effective.