We tend to think of writing style as a creative aspect. It’s something that novelists use, not journalists, professional bloggers and other career writers.
But every single one of us has a writing style, no matter if we write for fun or money (or both)… if we write fiction or nonfiction… and if we write for a big or small publication.
We even each have a writing style no matter if we’re just starting out or have decades to brag about under our belt. To understand why, of course, we first need to understand what it is.
Admittedly, to do so, we’ll have to turn back several months to a Rule I gave my creative writing readers. You’ll see how it still fits when we do.
Except for the part about plot points, etc. (which can be easily substituted with some nonfiction element), the description below works.
How do you write? What word choices do you use, whether advanced or evocative? How do you arrange those word choices in your sentences? How about in your paragraphs? And are your paragraphs long or short?
Your answers to those questions (and, admittedly, a few others) determine your writer’s style, which is just as unique as a fingerprint. Everyone has their own way of writing that’s distinctive no matter if told to write out the same exact plot points with the same exact characters, setting and all-around set-up as everyone else.
Maybe you're born with it. Maybe you develop it as more a matter of nurture. But you work it out every time you put words down on paper whether you know it or not.
Speaking of developing, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with your writing style. Though I’m also not saying there’s anything right about it.
It’s probably somewhere in between good and bad… dependent on your natural-born writing talent and how long you’ve been putting it into practice.
I just don’t know without looking at it. And even if I did look at it, I’ll admit I’m biased, preferring certain styles over others. So I’m hardly an entirely objective observer.
Then again, neither are you. That’s why we’re doing ourselves a favor by reading as many other pieces as possible. We can best see what else is out there that way.
We don’t have to accept everything we see. But we still should take it in – evaluating whether it works for the attitudes we’re trying to convey and the reactions we’re trying to evoke.
In the same way, we also get to decide whether it works for us or not.
There’s no pressure involved in the process, only the chance to expand our horizons by learning something about others and ourselves.
On that same note, while it wouldn’t be a bad idea for you to focus more on your particular field and expression – tech blogs or investment articles or whatnot – feel free to branch out while you’re at it. A little professional cross pollination probably won’t hurt.
The writing world is becoming more and more connected anyway these days. And if fiction and nonfiction authors can take stylistic cues from each other, which they do, why can’t it happen between fellow business writers?
Try it out for yourself and see how much more effective your writing style can become.