Finding and Trusting Your Own Style

One of the most difficult things for beginning writers to do is to develop their own style. This takes a long time and a lot of self-confidence. The important thing to remember when you are creating your style is that it is important for you not to follow anyone else’s rules and what works for them. Instead, it is very important to determine what is important for you, and to trust what works and what doesn’t as you establish your writing routines. Developing your style takes time and patience. I found with myself, I had to try many different styles out at first. One of the first things I did as a writer was to determine what were my likes and dislikes. One thing that I discovered right away was that I loved writing in the flow. The free flow of writing was the way I loved to produce first drafts. I didn’t want to think about grammar, punctuation, or spelling. I just wanted to write what came out of my heart and soul. And that was such an encouraging way for me to write first drafts, that I was able to become a serious writer because of this recognition. Another thing I discovered that I hated was reading and re-reading my work unless I was in revision mode. So, I always left the revisions until the next stage of my writing. I learned early on how I absolutely loved to write in stages. I always love to write in one mode at a time too. My writing stages are as follows: Stage One: I write first draft in the free flow of writing. Stage Two: I revise the manuscript globally for organization and cohesion. Stage Three: I revise the manuscript microscopically for word usage, spelling, and grammar Stage Four: I put the manuscript away for a week or two weeks. Stage Five: I read over the piece again globally. If it seems okay to my eyes, it is time to send it to a critique group. Stage Six: I make changes to the manuscript that the critique group suggests. (If there are a lot of changes, Stage Two to Four will have to be repeated once or twice more.) Stage Seven: I put the manuscript away again for a week or two. Stage Eight: I send the Manuscript off to a publisher or a magazine. This is my style. What is yours? If you don’t know, perhaps it is time to determine what your writing style is. Irene