Breaking the Rules of Writing

close up view of an old typewriter

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

There are many social media posts out there that suggest, and even encourage, breaking the writing rules. Why would you want to break the rules? Couldn’t that hurt your writing? It depends what you’re writing and also to some degree, your audience. When it comes to blogging and article writing, you need to know when to break the rules. On the other hand, creative writing is much more forgiving and frankly, the rules should be broken more often than not.

Writing Tools Aren’t All They’re Cracked Up To Be

There are popular tools out there that claim to help writers when it comes to grammar, sentence structure, and SEO. This applies to all types of content including blog posts, articles, essays, and creative pieces. Let’s take a closer look at two of these writing tools.

Yoast

Yoast scores your readability and keyword density or a red, orange, green scale. There are pros and cons to using Yoast. These include:

Pros

  • Great for those new to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Scores your content’s readability and keyword density on an easy color coded scale
  • Provides clear direction on what needs to be changed to improve your SEO

Cons

  • Using too many or all of the recommendations can decrease the overall writing quality
  • The piece can lose tone and voice with too many SEO changes
  • It can be distracting to the writer making them focus instead on adjusting sentences to see that green score

Grammarly

Grammarly catches spelling and grammar errors, including missed or unnecessary punctuation. Here are a few pros and cons to take into account:

Pros

  • It catches silly mistakes that you may miss yourself while proofreading
  • Their rephrase feature offers suggestions on different phrasing
  • It works on just about any website and application you can think of

Cons

  • The suggestions aren’t always correct
  • It’s aggressive and often “forgets” if you ignore a suggestion
  • Decreases writing quality and can cause the flow to be lost

Why Break the Writing Rules

When that pesky red appears from Yoast or Grammarly, should you always take their advice? Absolutely not.

You won’t want to use every suggestion as it can really damage the overall writing quality. However, there are times that you may want to make at least some of the suggested changes. Maybe it’ll flow better rephrased or with that comma you missed. Maybe your SEO will be improved with shorter and less passive sentences. It’s all about finding balance.

It’s vital to take into account what you’re writing. If it’s a blog post you should let your personality shine through with few edits. If you’re writing creatively, you may want to throw all of the suggestions out the window. Yoast and Grammarly can really suck the life out creative writing. Articles and essays may require extra help when it comes to SEO and grammar. They often require a more serious tone as you’re presenting facts to your audience.


Learning when to listen and when to ignore suggestions will take time. It all comes down to one fact: Writing rules are meant to be broken.


2 thoughts on “Breaking the Rules of Writing

  1. This is the reason why I typically eschew editing tools like Grammarly. I want to write crappy words that express my message, not surgically-enhanced prose that sounds like the dude at parties who likes correcting ‘who’ with ‘whom’.

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