The Worst Writing Advice We’ve Ever Heard

Feb 27, 2017

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The Worst Writing Advice We’ve Ever Heard

Everyone likes to offer up their own two cents when it comes to writing techniques. You may have been told to find a quiet space and write in silence, or to go for a walk if you hit writer’s block. The truth is that everyone is different. What works for one might not work for the next. However, there are a few pieces of writing advice that are given frequently that just aren’t right. And we can prove it to you. 

The Worst Writing Advice We’ve Ever Heard 

1. Write What You Know

Of course, it’s impossible for any one person to be an authority in every field and on every topic. However, a writer can still educate him or herself enough to be able to discuss a subject after doing the amount of research necessary to understand it. Becoming a better writer means expanding your mind beyond your comfort zone. Why would you limit yourself to your small realm of knowledge when there is so much more to discover? Especially with the internet, huge quantities of information are at your fingertips at all times. Stretch yourself.

2. You Don’t Need a Plan

“Freestyling” might work for some writers, but especially in the business world, its best to begin with a plan. Unless you’re writing the next Great American novel for an editor that worships the ground you walk on, chances are that your writing will be held to certain expectations. Most likely, you cannot write whatever want. It must have a purpose and convey a point clearly. Have an idea of how your piece will begin and how it will end. Keep in mind all the main points that need to be included in the body. You may want to jot these down and decide in which order they should be presented to be the most effective.

3. Avoid All Jargon 

This advice is given so as not to alienate your reader with fancy language. On the flip side, you also do not want your writing to be overly simplistic. A small amount of jargon can be included and can even enhance your writing if it is defined the first time it is used in the document.

4. Write Every Day

Everyone needs a break. If you feel blocked, take the day off and tackle that blog tomorrow. Writing every day to “improve your craft” isn’t always realistic.

5. Find Your Voice

Each of your pieces should have its own voice. It should speak for itself. While it may reflect your personal writing style, not every single piece needs to be dripping with your “voice.” Your readers might not be coming here for you – they might just be looking for the information you’re providing and nothing more.

6. Write When Inspiration Strikes 

But what if it never does? There are some some subjects that you will never be able to conjure up passion for. We can’t be interested in everything. Inspiration does not often strike concerning topics we have no interest in, and that’s okay. Dive in and get it over with! Maybe you’ll even learn something.

7. Write the Way You Talk 

But have you ever heard yourself talk? It’s probably more casual than you realize. If you typed out every slang term and every ummm or uhhh, the result would not be suitable for publication. Never fear; your personality can still shine through a more formal writing style. It can be conversational without throwing grammar rules out the window.

Good Luck!