One of the early posts I wrote for this blog was about a writing service that was different from the typical “bid for work” sites. When I first started freelance writing they were a great way to cut my teeth. Even as recently as a few months ago I was going on about using them as an income source. Well, the honeymoon is over. Screw them. They are not the same place that they used to be. In short, they have become too big for their britches.
When I first started writing over there, I worked hard to increase my ratings. They were easy enough to work with and I soon received the highest rating. After being away for a while, I started accepting assignments again and apparently three years of consistent writing has made my writing worse. Articles that I submit are routinely rated below my level (even though client feedback has been positive) and they failed to back me when a client had a BS response to an assignment that I followed to the letter.
I don’t mind it when suggestions are made that can help me to be a better writer. In the case of this writing service, the feedback from their “editors” seems to be based strictly on minor grammar laws with a total disregard for style. Specifically, I was called out for comma placement when the passage would have been fine either way.
Style is important. And while grammar is important when considering things like the common misuse of “your” and “you’re,” there are some grammar points that should take a back seat to style. Like starting a sentence with “And.” My style has always been relatively informal and conversational. I put into written words the voice I hear in my head. So sue me. Does it do a disservice to the reader to write in this style? I think not. Perhaps the message, the intonation or the emphasis I am attempting to convey is better done so without the grammatically correct comma.
What would the writing and reading world look like if we all followed the cookie cutter madness? One of the things that made me so fond of Stephen King was his out-of-the-box style in “The Shining.” Wowed me to my core, it did.
What I’m saying, fellow writers, is this: Do not be bullied. Stick to your guns. Wear your style with pride. Disassociate yourself with any client or organization who tries to mold you into something that fits their round hole.