Writing and Publishing

Why Writers Need to Develop Their Writing Style

Our writing style will help us find work, sell our writing, and grow an audience.

When people hire me they often say “I like your writing style” or share some similar sentiment. (I do content marketing, ghostwriting, commercial freelance work, and whatnot.)

I’m glad they appreciate how I write. It helps us start our working relationship from a good place. At the same time,g I wonder what they mean.

If you asked me what my writing style is, I would sputter at my response. I strive to write logically. I work to have a smooth flow from word to word, sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph. I use complete sentences, avoid clichés, and like to write in triplets. Occasionally my words have a playful tone, and I hope my writing is always interesting. Does this describe my style? Or does this merely delineate my technique? Is there a difference?

Regardless, I know that having a writing style is critical to me finding work. So I’m glad I have one. My writing style has emerged over time. How that happened for me is likely the same as for any writer.

We need to:

Put in the Time: I have logged my 10,000 hours and long ago hit the million-word mark, both milestones that writers must reach. All writers need to invest in the craft of writing. This takes time.

Write in Public: I blog, and I write articles. My work is out there for everyone to see. Many of the people who hire me have read my words for years but not everyone. My last ghostwriting client was a referral. Until that moment he had never heard of me, but he found my words online, liked my writing style, and hired me.

Get Feedback: When we write in public we sometimes receive criticism—both constructive or otherwise. We can also seek feedback from people we trust, such as other writers, a critique group, beta readers, editors, agents, and publishers. Their reaction to our words today helps make our words tomorrow better.

Strive to Improve: Not all aspects of our writing style are necessarily good. Everyone has weak spots. So we work to write better. As we do our style morphs into something grander. How I write today, though similar to last year, is better. The same is true for anyone who writes with intention.

Even if we don’t know our writing style, the people who read our words know what it is. Perhaps they can’t articulate it anymore then we can, but they know our work when they see it.

Having an engaging writing style will help us find work, sell our writing, and serve an audience. That’s why I write. How about you?

Learn more about writing and publishing in Peter’s book: Successful Author FAQs: Discover the Art of Writing, the Business of Publishing, and the Joy of Wielding Words. Get your copy today.

Peter Lyle DeHaan is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book Successful Author FAQs for insider tips and insights.

By Peter Lyle DeHaan

Author Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, publishes books about business, customer service, the call center industry, and business and writing.

4 replies on “Why Writers Need to Develop Their Writing Style”

I love your writing style! It is clear, interesting, organized, and to the point! I look forward to it every Saturday morning.

Yesterday a dear friend wrote to tell me of 3 errors in the blog I had just sent out. She claims she is a grammar nut. No writer likes to see errors in their work! However, I was very grateful. I was able to fix those errors, so others wouldn’t see them (unless they are set!) I appreciated her PRIVATE notification. To me, getting God’s Word out is #1, but the opportunity to improve on the ministry He has given me is a true blessing.

And Peter, I love your questions at the end of your newsletter/blog!


Patti, I appreciate your encouragement. Thank you!

I, too, have had friends privately email me with errors in my posts. I’m glad for the opportunity to fix them and that they didn’t post this news online.

Once, however, a reader publically pointed out that my post contained two errors and chastised my sloppiness. I found and fixed one of them but never could find the second one. It was both embarrassing and frustrating.

(BTW, thanks for responding to my questions!)

Like Patti says on her comment, I too love your writing style because it is clear, interesting, organized, and to the point! It’s wonderful how diverse your writing topics are. It seems you have established yourself as an authority. Wishing you great success, always!

Haven’t done much to “hone” my voice. Are style and voice the same? The few, who read some of my words seem to like my style. Not sure what that is. I always try to do the things you do but don’t always succeed.

I blog here and there, hoping to get more into it when I am done editing the last part of my book and send it to an editor.

If you have time, come over to my blog and read my thoughts on “Dimitsana, My Home Town: Connecting to Roots” )

Have a wonderful and productive year!


You ask a great question Katina!

I think of style and voice as being almost the same but with subtle differences (that are hard to articulate). Though our voice can emerge from our style, I suspect we develop them both in tandem.

Regardless if we call it a writing style or voice, I like yours!

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