In literary classes, Teachers like to talk about an author’s voice. In these cases, they are talking about the unique stylistic choices that the author has come to be known for. However, developing a writing style is not just something that famous authors do. Whether you write to be published, to be read, or to clear your mind, developing your own writing style is a part of the creative evolution that drives us all. The process is often length and difficult, but typically encompasses several steps that are hard to avoid.
Anyone with a basic knowledge of language and grammar can write, but not everyone can be a professional writer. However, even if you feel that writing as a career is not for you, that does not mean that you should put the pen down if you enjoy doing it in your free time. Writing is something that anyone can do, and everyone has their own writing style. You should know a little something about your own style, even if you the only writing you do is your personal journal or in your children’s baby books. It’s not really something you can change, but it is something you can improve.
Writing in your own style can mean something like your writing voice, but that is only part of it. Your writing style is the natural way that you write and also the way that you incorporate or understand the general rules of writing, grammar, and punctuation. Word usage is also a big part of your style. Some people just have stronger points in their writing than others. Your writing style may seem bland and blah to you, but if others say they like it, it could be that you are much like anyone else doing some writing – you are your own worst critic. Pay attention to the basics and the rest falls in place.
It is very hard to change your own writing style. We often write as we hear it in our heads, which is how we think and see the world. Some toil away and do make changes, but often this is not necessary if you have any skills at all. Your writing voice and your writing style is your own personal style. If you have ever tried to change things about yourself in general with little success, you can see what changing your voice can be hard. Writers are bad at critiquing themselves, so find someone else to do it and see what they have to say.
When developing a writing style that is unique to you, you might want to think about how you want to be remembered. There are some parts of a writer’s soul that are beyond the control of the writer, but the goals and aspirations of an author can tremendously influence the writing style they grow into. If you want to be remembered for your vision, you will likely put more time into imagery. If you want to be remembered for your honesty, your writing make take a conversational tone on.
You can change some finer points of your writing style, however, to make your writing better. This means finding out about proper style, which is sentence structure, word usages, and punctuation. These things are essentials for good writing, so if you have problems in those areas and you want to write a book, you have to work on that first. There are always rewrites and revisions, but the basics of your writing style must be good or your book will be rejected just on those points. Study books like The Elements of Style or take a college level creative writing or grammar course.
Overall, if you think that you have an unusual writing style, you may worry that it will hurt your chances if you want to be a professional writer. This may not be the case. In fact, having an unusual or different writing voice and style can actually help you. Publishers are always looking for the next fresh voice, and that voice and talent might be yours. As long as you have the basics down and proper, see where your own style will take you.