Have you ever read or heard something that influenced you, but you didn’t want to use it in your writing because you were afraid of stealing someone’s ideas?
If so, that’s a normal feeling. Many writers and artists have had the same fear.
But it can also be a mistake. Sure, you don’t want to plagiarize or completely copy a person’s work, but it’s human nature to be inspired and influenced by others, so it’s better to embrace that.
Let’s say you work at a company and recently got some great ideas from a business book. You would like to include these ideas in a blog post or white paper, but you’re a little unsure because you didn’t come up with them yourself.
There’s no reason you can’t use the ideas in your writing just because someone else has covered them already. It’s important, however, to do this in an ethical way and put your own spin on it.
Do you use the first person in some articles and third person in others? Do you spell out state names sometimes and other times abbreviate them?
To be an effective business writer, you need to have a consistent style.
The best way to achieve consistency is by following a style guide or a style manual.
Two of the best-known style guides are TheAssociated Press Stylebook and TheChicago Manual of Style. Many publishers use one of these books as a guide for language use, such as spelling, abbreviations, and punctuation. They’ll then add their own style preferences that are particular to their own organization.