When I was in high school, there was one writing assignment we received that I was not sure how to do. After trying for a long time to figure it out, I finally went to ask my teacher for help. The things that she told me have stood out since that day: trust myself and follow my voice. My frustrations with the assignment had led me to question what I was saying and made me feel like I was doing it wrong, when in reality I had been doing it correctly, and well. I did not trust my instincts or my writing, and she told me to have more faith in my abilities. Even though I do not always apply that advice now with the stresses of the semester, it significantly helped me to feel more confident in myself. She also stated that I had a good and strong voice. My response to that was that I was not sure what that meant. My teacher merely stated it was something only I could discover. Though it took me a while to fully understand what my voice was, I have seen it grow and develop as I have progressed through the English major at BYU.
For me, my style is a direct result of the advice my teacher gave me, and has improved as my voice has grown and developed over time through the classes I have taken and the things that I have learned. This class has helped me to notice what types of writing and grammar that I regularly use as I work on assignments. I like long sentences that sometimes contain too many ideas for the sentence. But I also really like to have short sentences that pack a punch within them. I have found that I have a hard time with transitions between paragraphs, but that I have improved over time as I focus more on them. Overall, this has led to a more formal style, and I find it hard to be informal in my writing as a result.
In my style, I use a variety of punctuation. I know I have issues with commas, but I still struggle with them immensely and I feel like there is no hope for improvement, except to have multiple people look over my work. I like using colons and semicolons, and am becoming adept at using them and dashes more effectively in my writing. What has become most important to me in my writing is not losing my identity, whether through grammar, punctuation, or structure. Many of my professors have certain styles of writing they prefer, so I have catered to that in my writing. However, when I have focused on my writing, and worked to improve the areas I struggle in, I have found that it is my writing that counts, and the suggestions I receive have become less about the style and voice professors prefer, and more about formatting or little grammar things. I have become stronger as a writer as I have progressed at school, and it is so neat to look back at my writing and see how I have improved.