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There’s No Rules To Writing

Updated: Dec 26, 2022

There are no true rules to writing. Of course, we should use some form of punctuation at the end of each sentence and capitalize nouns, but the art of writing can be as unique as a fingerprint.

When it comes to writing style and word choice, anything goes! (You can even make your own words up. Just make sure your audience knows what it means.)

I realized that I write exactly how I talk, with a strong accent of AAVE, African American Vernacular English. I use words like ‘ain’t’, ‘wanna’, ‘finna’, ‘bogus’, & ‘bae’. As I type these words in real time, the spell check sensor alerts me with the bright red underline, indicating that I've misspelled some words.

I also notice editors try to correct my “errors” as if I didn't know any better. But, with a great sense of pride, I change my words back and ignore the red underlines because creativity is not monolithic. Most importantly, there’s a mutual understanding between my dialogue and my intended audience.

One thing I don’t like about traditional publishing is that it’s so traditional, with so many guidelines. BORING!!! Like why is there a word count requirement? If I can tell the story in 2,500 words, why can’t I? It honestly reminds me of grade school when I had to write essays with at least 300 words but was complete with the essay by word 200. I had to go back and use a lot of filler words and undo words with contractions to make two words instead of one. ('Don't' changed to 'do not'!) Regulations like word choice limit creative freedom and can change the atmosphere of the work altogether.

It is common, even normal, to see literary work follow the sequential order of beginning, middle, end. This sequence is not law. Any order is permitted. I know you’ve seen movies or read comic books where you’re shown the ending but have to wait to see how the characters got to that point. Those creations are memorable because they've unsubscribed to the literary conformity.

Another thing, writing doesn't have to have a purpose. Early in my writing career, even though I'm only four years in, I believed that all of my writing had to be profound. I tried to be Dr. Martin Luther King in every blog publication, book, and even social media post. Ultimately, I became less relatable and wasn't exercising my creativity the way I wanted. Now, I write about random things, mundane days, nightmares I've had, the color olive green, and even my dog August and how I'm teaching her to sing! I'm learning that there is an audience for whatever literary piece you publish, even if it's only for you.

In short, writing and creativity is not to be policed. New ideas and practices can't be created if we're all doing the same thing, following rules from the 1700's.

Now go write, right now!!

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Happy writing,

Publack Library Publishing

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