The secret to good writing is that there is no secret. There are no rules.
Writing flourishes according to the infinite stylistic variations that are applied to it from person to person, culture to culture, era to era – and it does so depending on a range of factors: of background, history, circumstances at the time of writing, the mind of the person who undertakes the task, and so on.
Writing is determined by the idiosyncrasies of the writer at the time of writing – Dr. Obvious
Imagine a world in which only one writing style was permitted, in which only one style was allowed to exist, in which only one style was encouraged for use by the arbiters of taste or public opinion (whoever they might be).
We would very quickly find ourselves vastly under-whelmed by the experience of writing – and doubly so where reading is concerned.
What would be the point of writing if its forms of expression were hemorrhaged by a repeated emphasis on the same nuances, the same tones and the same indications of proffered meaning? The meanings we intended would be limited to a rhetorical hall of mirrors reflecting proverbial blanks and platitudes ad infinitum.
Language ought to be a liberation of meaning, not its confinement to recurrent ideas of semantic or syntactic rules of law.
To advocate ‘rules’ or a ‘way’ of writing is to advocate a perpetual stifling of the human character which requires writing in order to thrive.
The Power of Writing
The power of writing comes from the very opposite of ascribing rules to its process.
It comes from the fact that we can manipulate, fuse, corrupt and bend the rules of language to work in our favour.
It comes from the individual shades of emphasis we give to its multitude of meanings, and from the styles we invent that are appropriate to the underlying condition in which such meanings are formed.
No language is fixed. No diction is governed by implacable dictates.
And this is how language has always functioned – as a system of rules that are systematically broken in order to thrive – a bit like people – because people, ultimately, are language, and languages, ultimately, are people.
The Freedom of Writing
Writing is a force for liberation that releases us from many retrogressive ills:
- It helps us spread the message for improving our social or political conditions (as well as resisting the conditioning they put us under).
- It helps us vent our frustrations or frame our thoughts to the effect of informing or inspiring others.
- It helps us cope with psychological traumas for which writing is a placebo, if not an actual cure.
This is why it is essential to ensure that writing and reading are enshrined as basic human rights that are the entitlement of people the whole world over.
Without writing, freedom of speech is muffled, a mere cry in the dark that fades within its own echo.
A people that is educated in writing is in a position to challenge the hardships placed against it by the ruling elite.
There is no secret to good writing, but there are those who’d prefer to keep good writing a secret from you.
Writing is a gateway to freedom for all peoples in all societies across the world.
The secret to good writing, then, is to make it yours.