Each week, Evan Peterson rounds up stories from across the Web that scribes of all stripes should check out. Writing lessons and inspiration are things all writers need from time to time. The problem is, we’ve all heard some of the same ones. A couple of pieces this week focused on not taking all the advice too seriously, or letting it dominate your approach to writing.
Your voice doesn’t matter: As this column has highlighted many times, voice and creativity are the tools that bring individuality to writing. They help communicate, and set one writer apart from others. But even the sharpest voice doesn’t do you any good if no one will pay you to deploy it. In fact, writes Noah Berlatsky for The Atlantic, voice is overrated. For marketing and PR writers, copywriters and journalists, this is a point to keep in mind: The “style” or the “voice” you’re writing in is almost always that of an organization. It might be a style that enables you to operate within wider lanes of creativity, but ultimately, you’re adopting house rules, or at least the rules of what an audience expects. When it comes down to it, writes Berlatsky, it’s about making a living: