My Style

After completing the style masquerade we were all asked, “Do you have a better understanding of your own writing style?” In response, most of my peers nodded, while I was ambushed with the realization that I could in no way define my “style”. I’ve always been told that my writing has a “voice,” and I would agree with that. I write in much the same way that I talk and think. When I reread a paper, I can often hear my literal voice in my head saying the words. One of my favorite things to do is break up long complicated sentences by inserting short, quick statements. Sometimes for dramatic effect, sometimes for humor. In general, I use them to break away from the denser content-based writing and appeal to the reader’s emotions. But what does that mean for my style? I wouldn’t necessarily call my writing conversational, so what is it? I still don’t have an answer. The best I can do is assume that my style is still forming. Having said that, I don’t think a style ever fully forms. It is always changing. When reading Gertrude Stein’s writing in class, one thing I noticed is that the “style” of her poem, Tender Buttons, was very different than that of one of her novels. While certain elements of her writing could be seen in both, her style evolved from one piece to the other.

As for the “Why I Write” essay, I will probably write it as a narrative. Much as one’s style changes, my answer to this question has evolved over my years of writing. There is no one reason why I write and so no one thing that can be the focus of my project. Instead, I hope to take the reader on the journey that got me to the Minor in Writing, and let him experience my many answers to this question.

3 thoughts to “My Style”

  1. I can definitely relate to your reaction from the question “Do you have a better understanding of your writing style?” Although I felt like I became more aware of the sentence structures and words I frequently use, I was unable to sum up my own writing style with a single word such as “conversational” or “academic.” As the Rosenwasser and Stephen reading mentioned, writers usually alter their style depending on their audience. Your point on Gertrude Stein’s style being an evolving process is also important to note because many authors change their styles over the years as they gain new experiences and perspectives.

    In addition, I really related to your point on voice. I also try to write the same way that I talk. Sometimes I actually read my papers out loud to make sure my wording doesn’t sound awkward when spoken. With academic papers I might use more formal word choice but I still try to sound like myself. Maybe strong voice can be categorized as a writing style?

    Lastly, I really like your idea for the “Why I Write Essay.” I’m sure it’s hard for most writers to pinpoint a single reason for writing because so many factors can contribute. I’m looking forward to reading about your journey toward the Minor in Writing!

  2. I appreciate how you were comfortable admitting that you were unsure of your writing style. I think for most people, a writing style is incredibly multifaceted and difficult to pinpoint. That’s true for me as well. I think it’s almost easier to identify another person’s writing style than it is to identify my own. I don’t know if I’ve actually done that yet, but I’d like to think, as you said, that it’s still evolving.

  3. Christina,

    I completely understand how you felt when people were nodding ‘yes’ to knowing their style… I, myself, was like what?! I’m only a junior and I am suppose to know my style? I felt ambushed as well because as a writer, I was always catering to my high school teachers rubrics and my professors ruling about papers. I never really did any writing outside of school/classes. Luckily for you though, you know some sort of styling that you like to do– chopping up longer, complicated sentences into short, quick statements.

    I like your approach about the writing assignment as well. I agree that there is not just one reason why we write– especially for everyone in the Writing minor. I cannot wait to be able to read your experience/journey!!

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