Unlearn Everything

Like all writing advice, my word is far from being godly advice. My word is like the back of the travel brochure that nobody reads because travel agencies in person aren’t a thing anymore. So, like all good writing advice, you can listen or completely pass on it.

But, as I get older, I learn that I have to unlearn a hell of a lot of “proper writing” in order to find my voice.

Like complete sentences.

Ending something with an ellipses…

Using present-tense instead of past.

Explaining things in tiny words instead of using a giant thesaurus to be “eloquently flowery like a dewdrop upon a sage-brush” or something like that.

Learning how to damn-well be CONCISE instead of writing paragraphs describing a flower because of that show-don’t-tell “rule”.

Basically, I’m unlearning my grammar books, just barely crossing my T’s and dotting my I’s, and trying to write a little bit more like ME and less like a cheap Charles Dickens knockoff.

And that works for me.

Sure, it might look like cheap or bad writing to someone else. But to me? It looks perfectly fine. It looks interesting.

At the end of the day, I’m not trying to be the next F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’m trying to be the next ME.

And dammit if I won’t be true to my own writing style. Writing doesn’t have to be some exclusive Western literature only club. You think there’s only ONE true way to write? You think there aren’t separate literary styles that are JUST as fine if not BETTER out there? News flash, what’s considered by many to be the first novel in history was written by a Japanese woman, Tale of Genji, by Murasaki Shikibu in the 11th century. And that’s just taking in the stories that are written down. What about oral tradition? What about passing down stories by word-of-mouth for millennia and having those stories stay so strongly in the public’s imagination that they stand the test of time?

To write better than the rest of your generation, you must break the rules, and screw what others think. You’re ahead of your time.

And that’s how to write true to yourself.

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