in Writing & Publishing

Writing Style: Readers Welcome Influence

Your writing style influences how your readers’ inner ear hears your writing.

In the same way that nobody reads Emerson using Shakespeare’s style, nobody reads your writing while imposing their own style.

Readers will embrace whatever style you write with because they’re reading your writing. They’re listening to how you’re communicating the words. Nobody reads like an editor (except editors, and they already know they’re reading like editors).

The very act of choosing to read puts your readers in a receptive mode that welcomes influence, whether they realize it or not. The placement of your commas and periods, the points at which sentences and paragraphs end, the words that you choose to use, all of it influences how your writing sounds inside the head of your reader.

They do not use your style–whether good, bad, or full of errors–to judge you as a writer. (Again, editors and people inclined to read like editors are the exception, but they’re not the norm and they’re most likely not your average reader.)

So embrace whatever style comes natural to you. Avoid letting your inner editor judge you before others even get the chance to read what you have to say. Don’t let your style, or lack thereof, prevent you from writing. What you have to say is far more important than how you say it.

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