Writing Journey

Keeping It Simple


I’ve been told, more than once, that my writing is too simple. It has been called juvenile and childish, among other hurtful adjectives. When I first read such comments/reviews, I wanted to cry. I mean, who wouldn’t? Nobody wants to be called a writer who lacks skill in forming complex sentences that wows the audience with such advance vocabulary. I, for one, didn’t. But then I realised, simple isn’t bad, simple is good.

Many well-known writers are advocates of simple writing. Some famous writers have even been criticized for their simple writing. But they never let those comments stop them, and they continue to find success through their simple style.

Faulkner vs Hemmingway

So why do people complain about simple writing? I don’t know. Why do people complain about complex writing? Trust me, I know writers who’ve been told their writing is too complex, they need to tone it down. True story. The fact is, you can’t please everyone.

So let’s keep this simple. Let’s just write.

In reality, not everyone is going to like your writing, your story, and your book. There will be people who hate it and there’s nothing you can do to change their minds. The one thing you can do, for yourself, is to keep writing the way you want to write. Whether it be simple, complex, or in between, just write.

I’ve been told my simple style of writing makes my stories fast pace and exciting. I’ve also been told my simple style of writing makes my stories bland. It’s all a matter of opinion. At the end of the day, I’ll write how I want to write. I’ll keep it simple… just the way I like it. I’ll order medium-rare for my steak, because that’s the way I like it. I cannot stomach it raw, and I don’t like the texture of well-done, but if that’s the way you like your steak, then order it so. Don’t let people tell you how you should write. Every writer has a unique voice. Own up to yours.

You're not alone.
You’re not alone.

*Now, I’m not saying disregard good criticism. If there are comments out there that help you become a better writer, embrace it like a long lost friend. But if someone tells you to change your style, tell them to write their own book/blog.

I’ve decided to blog about this today because I’ve come across a lot of writers who question their work based on people’s comments – particularly in style. They’ve contemplated changing their style of writing just to fit into people’s preferences. I’ve been in those shoes myself. But now that I’ve kicked those shoes off, I want to encourage you to do the same.

At the end of the day, you’ll have your fans and you’ll have your non-fans (I’d use the term ‘haters’ but it seems too harsh). Don’t let your non-fans dictate how you should execute your passion. They won’t support you even if you change. So write… write however you want to write. Write for you and write for those who like your style. Write because you like writing and stop asking yourself if it’s too simple or too complex.

Keep it simple and just write.

34 thoughts on “Keeping It Simple”

  1. Wow, this helped me so much. I’ve sometimes wondered about my own writing style and if people like it. But you are absolutely right! It doesn’t matter if people like it, it only matters if you enjoy writing it.
    Thanks for posting, and btw, I love your writing style!!!! ❤ 🙂

  2. I find your stories fast paced and really enjoyable and I think keeping it simple works great especially for the scary stories. (I still think about your story and clowns every time I have to go in the basement.

    So, this post is very reassuring for me, especially since I would like to write in English, but English is not my first language. Although I have a decent vocabulary, I am always afraid that my writing will be too simple and I’ll ruin any good idea. I am sure I won’t send anyone to their dictionary, but maybe it’s not the end of the world.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you like my style 🙂 It’s comforting to know my writing isn’t ‘boring’ everyone.

      Keep on writing 🙂 You’ll soon create your own unique voice that comes from English not being your first language. And you’re right, it’s not the end of the world.

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