“Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as paining does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself.” -Truman Capote
Keep this in mind when it comes to understanding writing.
When you write, you have something to say. Just like there are rules for conversation, there are rules for writing. Once you know what those rules are in general, you can adjust modify to where you define your style.
Today’s inspiration is about your writing. We will take a look at the following:
- What is writing?
- What are the rules of writing?
- What goes wrong with writing rules and style?
- How can you rearrange the rules of writing to suit your style?
Now that we have the questions, let’s find the answers!
What is writing?
Merriam-Webster defines writing as:
The activity or work of writing books, poems, stories, etc.
The way that you use written words to express your ideas or opinions.
Books, poems, essays, letters, etc.
Writing simply gets what is on your mind and puts it onto something for people to see.
What are the rules of writing?
I decided to type ‘writing rules’ into Google and it returned back to me 629,000,000 results! If you do not believe me, I screenshot it for you below:
I did the same for Bing and it returned back to me 13,900,000 results! I screenshot it below:
In seeing 642,900,000 results combined, I have come up with three universal rules that you can take from these results:
- There is no one writing style that is the “right” way.
- If there was one style that is universally correct, we would not have 642,900,000 results and counting!
- Everyone has a style of writing.
- For everyone who does any form of writing, there is a particular style that is unique and differs in some shape, form, or fashion from another person.
- Writing rules will be followed by some, but broken by many.
- Although everyone has some set of rules that some people will follow, there will be many who will choose to break them and make their own set of rules.
With this information, it is makes you wonder why do we even have rules when it comes to writing…
What can go wrong with writing rules or style?
With 642,900,000 results, there is plenty that can go wrong with trying to follow someone else’s writing style or rules. Here are three things that can go wrong:
- The rules or style does not fit you.
- Despite the fact that there are plenty of styles and rules to choose from, you simply have a way of writing that does not fit any set of rules or style.
- Trying to fit your writing into a particular set of rules or style that does not fit is like putting your feet into a pair of shoes that does not exactly fit your feet:
- If the size is too small, it will cause restraint and pain.
- If the size is too big, there will be room, but there is a chance you may never fulfill the requirements to grow into it.
- The rules or style are too complicated to follow.
- Another issue that comes up is that rules and style comes with instructions that are not easy to follow due to the language or how it is presented.
- When this happens, you are more likely to either break away from the rules and style, try something easier to do, or just simply not write at all.
- The rules or style does not bring you success.
- You may be writing to a particular set of rules or style, but you do not see the type of success that you are looking for.
- If you are seeing this happen, it can be discouraging and can cause you to second guess what you are doing.
When things are not going right with the rules or they style, it can make you wonder about whether or not you should remain patient or make a change.
How can you rearrange the writing rules and style to suit you?
With 642,900,000 results and counting, how can you rearrange and find a set of rules and style that works for you? Here is a five step approach that is focused on helping you do this very thing:
- Do some research.
- Take the time to look up and understand different types of rules and styles that may interest you.
- This can be done online or even in person by travelling to a library or bookstore.
- Try out some rules and styles.
- You will not know what will work for you until you try our some rules and styles that can fit what you are trying to do with your writing.
- This can be done by you testing out your writing using different styles and rules that can allow for you see what works for you.
- Keep what you want and throw away the rest.
- If you find certain writing rules and styles that you like, simply keep and add them to what you are doing with your writing.
- For the ones that you do not like or need, get rid of them so that you are wasting time on something that does not work or apply to what you are doing with your writing.
- Take what you have kept and make your own writing style and set of rules.
- For what you have left over from your trials and errors, develop something of your own that fits what you want to do.
- In this process, if you find that something does not fit what you doing, throw it out while keeping what works.
- Do what works best for you and your writing!
- No rule or style will matter if you feel it does not works best with what you are trying to do with your writing.
- Simply put, just do what you feel will make you successful.
If you are able to do this, you will have a style and set of rules that will suit what you want to do with your writing.
I encourage you to take the time to look at your own writing styles and rules. You will find that some of your best work has come from you writing on your own terms. The importance of finding a style and rules that fit you is vital if you are going to express what you truly think and feel on paper, online, someone, or something. Let’s remember that when you are successful writing your own way, it does not matter what the 642,900,000 combined results say because you have found the one way that works for you: YOURS!
I have a few questions that I would love for you to give some thought. Feel free to answer and comment below:
- Can you recall a moment where you had to scrap a writing style and rules that did not work for you?
- What made you decide to get rid of the writing style and/or rules?
- How did you go about changing your writing style and/or rules?
- Have you found a style and/or set of rules that currently works for you, or are you still searching for the right style and rules?
- What would you recommend to someone who is trying to find a writing style and set of rules that suits that person?
Your answers and comments can help yourself or someone else figure out this important question…
- How can you rearrange the writing rules and style to suit you?
-Michael J. Fite