No Rules in Writing: Musings from S.G. Bacon

S.G. Bacon

I read a post the other day about rules for good writing. One rule was to not use adverbs. Fun fact: my unique writing voice involves lots of adverbs. That post I read would have me believe that there is no value in my writing style because of that. And, honestly, it was so strongly worded that for a second I doubted the writing I’ve done.

As if any writer needs another suggestion of their work not being good enough. I suppose that’s why the topic is important enough to me that I would write a quick blog post about it.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is certainly a ton of valuable writing advice out there, and we all have room for improvement. But that’s what it should be: advice. Because writing is hugely creative, and when we add rules to creativity it becomes a whole lot less imaginative. The beauty of writing is that it’s really only limited by the writer. And writers are some pretty impressive people.

So I guess I don’t totally understand why it’s necessary to try to place limits on what or how we write. Do you want to pack your writing absurdly full of adverbs? Do it. Write a story from six different points of view? Go for gold. Feel it’s necessary to make a controversial point? Make it the best you can.

Of course, I’m not saying that everything you want to do in your writing is a good idea. I’m editing my first draft right now, and there are a whole bunch of things in there that were very much not good ideas. But there’s really no rules about that.

Writing is about adventure. It’s about pushing boundaries. It’s about expression. And in order to do those things, we can’t be held back by boundaries placed by someone else. Be creative. Be imaginative. Be unafraid to discover and use your own unique writing voice. The stories that really matter weren’t written by people confined by anyone’s rules.


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