Your Writing Signature: 7 Strategies for Finding Your Own Winning Style

Mark Twain’s writing possessed distinctive stylistic traits. Not only did Twain regularly use local dialects, he gave his characters an irreverent sense of humor, too. His style is imitated to this day. Children’s author Enid Blyton had a writing style that children still love. Many contemporary children’s authors are influenced by the way her writing perfectly captured the innocent speech styles of children.

As in any art form, style in writing comes about through living life, caring about things, having opinions and allowing the mind to find its own path. Many authors do point out that they never looked for their style: their style found them.

If you hope to find success as a writer, do you need a writing style?

Not every great author has a readily identifiable style. Some literary critics believe that Shakespeare didn’t have one. Pulitzer prize winner John McPhee is often said to write without an easily identifiable voice, also.

Many kinds of mainstream success as a writer do not require a distinctive style. A style might even get in your way if you need to find employment: editors at  newspapers and magazines may find that it clashes with the general, bland style of the rest of the publication. Only some types of employers need a talent for style in their writers. If you write student dissertation papers for employers like Ivory Research, for instance, you usually need to to be able to take on the writing style of a young student even if you aren’t one yourself.

Mostly, for writers planning to to write creatively, though, a distinctive style is a distinct asset.

You could already have a wonderful style but not be in touch with it

Everyone is born with their own individual personality traits. If you want your own writing style, all you need to do is to discover what your personality is. Then, you can channel it into your writing. It’s that simple. If you’re naturally a smart mouth, excessively polite, excessively rude or anything else, these qualities could turn into your style.  The idea should be to do exactly what you are natural at doing.

What follows are seven strategies that help you find your personality and your style:

.    Describe yourself: Think of five adjectives that best describe who you really are: flirty, impatient, logical, anxious, kindly or anything else. Once you have them, try to get in touch with those qualities when you write, and allow them space to express themselves.

.    Ask others: Sometimes, others can see you much more clearly than you can yourself. Ask someone who doesn’t mind hurting your feelings, exactly what kind of person they think you are. They could come out with a few good observations and a few hurtful ones. They could all be a great starting-off point.

.    Brainstorm: It’s hard work expressing yourself precisely in a piece of writing. You can stall trying to put your finger on the right word or even grammatical construction to use. If you could forget about grammar, logic, clarity or the other things that stall you when you try to write, you could very well see your inner voice come out more readily. The corrections can come later.

.    Put your favorite books together: Put together ten of your favorite books and articles.  The styles that you see in them could have a common connecting thread? It could be something like an ability to describe something perfectly, a breathless kind energy or anything else. Whatever connecting thread you discover, you could try to make it your own.

.    Tap your feelings: Before you begin writing, stop to take stock of what you feel at the moment. It could be anything from feelings of vulnerability to impatience at how hard writing is. Whatever you’re feeling, channel it into your writing. It can show up as a kind of style.

.    Ask yourself if you’re happy: When you write something, ask yourself if it feels like a chore or if you enjoy it. If you aren’t happy, try to use your feelings as a compass that shows you what direction to gravitate in with your writing to be happier

.    Ask yourself what you care about most: What is it that you think about a lot of the time? It could be your favorite foods, porn, iPhones, politics, global warming, money, cars or anything else. Try to feature those things in your writing.

While newspaper and magazine editors may have trouble granting assignments to writers with a distinctive style, it’s nevertheless important to develop one. If you hope to strike out on your own and become successful as an author one day, style can be a tremendous asset. It helps you stand apart in a crowded world and get heard.

Jenny Wescott is a longtime writer and mother of five. She’s always on the lookout for ways to improve her writing, and when she finds them, she enjoys sharing them with others. Look for her enlightening and entertaining articles on many of today’s websites and blog sites.

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