Be witty but not obnoxious, be edgy and not cheesey. This is the advice I give to writers. It’s not a line I created myself; it was written by the Wizards of Spoon, as I like to call them, Sarah Adler and Mackenzie Barth. They are the CEO’s of Spoon University, my bosses, my mentors and my friends. As the editor-in-chief of a publication, I actually do have to give writers feedback all the time and make sure they write good content. Giving writing feedback is something I do daily, not just during in-class peer reviews.
Now obviously this advice applies only to certain kinds of writing, as a very serious research paper shouldn’t necessarily be witty. But I always appreciate a writer who can lighten the mood with humor, even when it’s not specifically a funny paper. During my minicourse on blogging, our main focus was finding our voice. I wanted mine to be witty and edgy, but that’s easier said than done. You have to be a naturally funny and clever person, which not everyone is. That is why sometimes you simply can’t be funny. Sometimes the inspiration just doesn’t strike you.
Another thing I sort of know I should do and wish I could do is include poetic sounding language and metaphors. I always envied my classmates who could write in a way that sounded beautiful and profound. They use such colorful language and detailed description that adds a whole other layer of depth and strength that I can never seem to achieve. I don’t exactly preach others to do this, but it is definitely something I think a good writer should do.