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New Writers, Break Long-Standing Writing Rules and Have Fun Finding Your Own Voice

  • 3 min read

Don’t let anyone tell you how to write. Writing has evolved. Breaking the rules is totally fine.

The other day, a fellow reader left a private note recommending that I not start my sentences with “and,” “because,” or “but,” or write one-sentence paragraphs.

I told him that I’m not a native speaker, but I’m trying my best to improve my writing and thanked him for his advice.

I also asked him if, rules aside, my conversational writing style, inspired by paid newsletters I read, Medium stories, books, podcasts, and YouTube videos, would distract him while reading my stories.

The answer may surprise you:

“No. It feels like a one-on-one conversation between me and you. It’s just that you should know the rules and follow them.”

Don’t follow every rule blindly

Well, when it comes to writing, we should think for ourselves and not obey every rule blindly, don’t you think?

So I did a little research and found the book “Everybody Writes: Your New and Improved Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content (2nd Edition)by content icon, keynote speaker, and Wall Street bestselling author Ann Handley.

You want permission to start a sentence with “and,” “because,” or “but,” you’ll find it in Ann’s book.

For example: “But breaking writing rules can sometimes make for more interesting content.”

Want to write a paragraph with only one sentence?

Sure! Ann also gives you permission to use sentence fragments for effect.

Writing has evolved

“Many of the rules of writing that were taught in high school and college have changed” Ann shares…

… and she adds…

“Language today is much looser, especially due to communication through social media and online.”

Breaking the rules is totally fine

Remember, breaking these long-standing writing rules can be effective in certain contexts and fun. But you should still be mindful of the overall tone and style of your writing.

When in doubt, read your writing aloud to see if it sounds natural and flows well. Trust your own ear.

“Does it sound okay? If the answer is yes, go with it.”

Make your voice heard

I think, especially in a world where AI can write texts in perfect English, it’s crucial and fun to stand out from the crowd and write a bit differently.

Especially new writers need to find their voice when writing.

Trust me.

Breaking the rules is part of this journey.

Next time someone complains about your writing style, share this story!


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