There’s a sometimes fine line between improving your abilities and accepting them. But at some point, it usually is best to acknowledge your individual panache and run with it.
In a professional writer’s case specifically, that means you want to own your writing style. Whatever it is.
Once you do, you can actually end up unlocking even bigger and better channels to improve.
To begin with, a writing style is the way your thoughts come out on paper, complete with:
For example, your tone might be sarcastic, serious, snotty, sweet, straightforward, suggestive or any other adjective that does or does not begin with the letter S. It’s typically an expression of the way you think: your general attitude toward life or the subject matter you’re addressing.
Take man buns.
It’s a subject matter that makes me go quite acerbic. If I was going to write about it honestly, I’d say that every guy who wears a man bun should be sent to Siberia until he learns the error of his ways.
Now, that last sentence definitely holds a tone. That’s obvious. But it also bears a distinctive sentence structure, starting out a certain way and ending a certain way with certain grammatical choices in between.
Notice how it doesn’t start out on a noun or pronoun like so many sentences do. It begins with a conjunction, which is a sentence structure choice a lot of writers are very uncomfortable with. It’s also on the longer side, running 31 words in total.
And some of those 31 words don’t actually need to be there. They serve as literary flair alone.
Again, not every writer deems those allowances okay. They’re stylistic preferences.
Then there’s the language choice our example sentence uses. Every single word in “If I was going to honestly write about man buns, I’d say that every guy who wears one should be sent to Siberia until he learns the error of his ways” is a common one. There’s nothing academic or intellectual-sounding there.
Essentially, a 12-year-old middle school student could write that line just as much as a 35-year-old college-educated professional writer.
Surprising though it might be though, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Non-academic or intellectual-sounding language choices are typically more welcoming, offering the advantage of attracting a larger audience.
Such words can be easily understood and therefore don’t put the author on a higher plane than the reader.
There’s something to be said for that.
Yet there’s also something to be said about a writing style that does establish a clear hierarchy. You might want to sound authoritative about your subject matter, presenting it as a helpful tool to better someone’s life. Or you might be challenging readers to expand their vocabulary.
There’s something to be said for that too.
It also brings up one final point to consider when settling into your writing style: What is your purpose?
Are you trying to make people laugh? Make them think? Make them like you? Make them transcend?
More often than not, each of those goals requires trending toward a certain writing style. If you really want to own yours, you should consider that angle just as much as your natural forms of expression.
Then, once you’ve had that heart to heart with yourself, learn to love your decision. Work with it and within it. The more you do, the more you’ll find yourself improving on it, fine-tuning as you go.
In short, why not own your writing style? It is yours after all.