Have you ever come across a particular style of writing that you just can’t imagine yourself being able to do, even if you put in a lot of work into studying it?
Now, I am yet to properly test myself with fiction, so I may totally end up failing at that! But in my current status as merely a non-fiction writer, the style that appears entirely at odds with mine is academic writing.
I work at a university as an administrator, so naturally I get to see a lot of academic articles and publications. They usually describe the process and outcomes of a research project, and are written for a very specific audience.
I just look at them and think, ‘there is no way I could possibly write something like this’, and it sometimes leads me to question myself and my knowledge and my ability of a writer. It is an irrational thought, as I am neither an academic, nor somebody who reads these articles with a professional interest.
What is it about academic writing that makes the style so incompatible to me? It is not the complicated terminology; it is certainly not the formal writing style.
Instead, I think it is the structure, and the long-winded descriptions that the style demands. The vicarious need for citations and references. And above all, the lack of creative freedom.
When I write, I always need a lot of creative freedom, and the flexibility to create something that reflects me as a person and the way I communicate through my writing. Academic writing lacks warmth and personality, and it is almost impossible to tell their authors apart. It is not the only form of non-fiction that does this, but it is a style that I find hard to associate with.
That is why blogging, magazine writing and recreational writing is perfect for me. It allows me to be myself when I write, and that makes it all the more enjoyable!
Have a wonderful weekend 🙂