My writing style and ability is heavily influenced by how I was taught to write in school. I took a variety of AP classes in high school which were meant to prepare us for college, and so a lot of my writing follows an academic, 3.5 paragraph style of opening up a topic, explaining 3 points, and concluding.
After all those AP classes, I never went to a normal 4 year college, and instead I went to film school and dropped out after 8 months because I could learn faster on my own, with a hell of a lot less debt. As I’ve written more, and seen what people respond to, I’ve started to write more in a stream of consciousness at first. I like to have a conversation with the page, putting thoughts down and revisiting them. Going back and changing the beginning as I find out what end I am writing toward.
For example, on this blog post, I started with a simple topic in the title box, which said “Writing Style”. In addition, I know that my inspiration for talking about writing style is the fact I just read through a lot of Seth Godin’s blog (seths.blog) and really like some things about it. So I wrote a little background on my own style, and now I want to explore his style.
Seth doesn’t stick to any kind of format it seems. His writing is conversational, and often quite short. He explains his thoughts as they are, only leaving enough words to communicate the idea, and then it’s done. Many of his blog posts may even be under 250 words. Truthfully, that’s all that’s necessary sometimes.
This is a practice I want to adopt. I aspire to be similarly prolific in my writing, and I think a conversational style that isn’t worried about structure or word count can only move me toward that goal.