BY DON DZIEDZINA  |

The air was clear and crisp.  Looking out the opened doorway of my log cabin I could almost see flakes of snow forming in the morning skies of early December.  The sounds of a crackling fire in the camp stove told me that this would be a good day to be outdoors.   But to crawl back under the down filled quilt may be the better choice.

Well, that reads okay.  It surely isn’t me and I think it’s terrible.  Maybe that’s not you either.

There’s nothing wrong with this though…

Damn, it’s cold outside.  Shut the door.  Put another log on the fire it’s freezin’  in here.  I’m going back to bed.

Okay, when it comes to craft improvement, this column is not going to even try to tell you what’s right or wrong.  What I want to encourage and share with you is simply being yourself when you write.

I’m sure this has happened to some of you in the past being an  experienced writer.  Many of us have been asked for our opinion on an article that a new writer has produced.   That’s flattering for sure; but sometimes difficult to respond to without hurting feelings.

I’ve have had people ask me to critique their work many times and my best suggestion to them was simply, “Be yourself.”

If you’re good at writing a column that uses a lot of descriptive words, go for it.   If you can write a piece that paints a picture in every sentence and everyone likes it, fantastic.  If you’re good at it and it’s enjoyed, don’t change.  What’s most important though, don’t mix your style.  Stick with what one form of writing style and keep on rolling.

Several times I’ve heard from readers that they’ve enjoyed my pieces because, in their words, I write the way I talk.

Hmmm…. Didn’t know I could type with a Chicago accent.

What’s really meant here is that in my writing, everything is pretty straight forward.  They enjoy easy reading.  In my case, I don’t want people to have to figure out what I’m saying.  I want them to understand it the first time around.  As I’m thinking about what to write, I just put down the words as if there was in a conversation between me and the reader.

There’s nothing wrong with having one style or another.  But my suggestion to you again is to stay with the style that you’re comfortable with using.  Keep it that way throughout the column and week after week.  Be consistent.

Having a certain style, no matter what kind it is, lets your reader get to know who you are and it gives you a personality.  They feel like they know you then and you actually get a little closer to them through your writing.

Regardless of your style, whether the air is crisp and  clear or damn it, it’s cold outside, be yourself and you’ll hold on to your readers.

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