If I asked you to look out your window and write a sentence about what you see, what would you say?
What if I came and stood over your shoulder and looked out that same window and wrote my own sentence about what I see?
Chances are, they would be two very different sentences – even though we’d be looking at the same building, sky and trees. Each of us would focus on slightly different parts of the view. You might be more interested in the brickwork on the building across the street. I might be more interested in the dark clouds that are bringing rain.
We would both be describing the view out your window. Our sentences would both be “right” – but different.
That’s why I’ll never get tired of reading other writers. If you tell me what you’re really thinking and seeing, it will be new to me.
Over the years, you may have had an English teacher or boss tell you that your writing shouldn’t show your personality.
I completely disagree. We’re all people – not carbon copies of each other – so showing your personality is what makes life interesting. It’s also what helps people connect with you so that they trust your expertise and decide to hire you.
Yes, you still need to follow the basic grammar rules and you always need to respect your reader. But, really, isn’t that pretty close to how you already live your life? We all follow certain conventions and try to respect others – even while we’re still ourselves.
So the next time you sit down at your keyboard or pick up your pen, be yourself. Don’t be afraid to let the reader get to know you.
Who knows? They might just like you.