Content or Style: What comes first in ‘Writing’?

No matter how beautiful is the style of writing, without good content it is mere decoration.

“Mam I write poetry 🤓
“And, my compositions used to be the best in school…and in college as well”, I replied hesitantly over the call to HR of that Medical Publication House.

I had just stepped out from the College. Confused in choosing where my interest lies best, in doing higher studies or in taking a break and working.

“For that you must have started applying somewhere”, thinking to myself I started looking for the relevant jobs.

That one morning I saw this opening in News Paper. A Medical Publication House was looking for a Medical Writer.
“Well, I can express myself pretty well and being a Pharma research scholar, I have the medical background as well”
“Yalla! Bismillaah.”

And, I applied.
“So, what is your experience as a writer”, the HR on the other side of the phone asked me.

“Mam I write poetry 🤓
“And, my compositions used to be the best in school…and in college as well”

Ha. Ha. Ha.
“Dear I am asking about your professional experience. Everybody writes compositions and essays in school.”

Being just a fresh popped-corn from the kernel…I mean…just a fresher recently passed out from the College and at the moment already embarrassed on the HR’s reaction 😔, I didn’t have much to say. I simply admitted that I neither had any professional experience nor any professional training for the job-vacancy I was applying.

“Ok. Thanks. We will get back to you.”

I was sure that they won’t call me back. I thought I was quite stupid to even call them in the first place when they had already mentioned ‘experience required’.

Well, I was wrong in my presumption this time as well just like I was wrong in many other things in life. They called me back.

Yes. They called me for the interview after a couple of days. Life doesn’t follow the protocols set by us. It follows God’s divine decree over everything.

I appeared in the interview just like that, without any experience and without any training, just with a predisposition of raw skills and a crude love for writing. I think you can imagine what would have happened to me in that session…

I do not know if my answers were silly or funny but Mr. Ashish and the HR were laughing at every one of them 🤔.

Today, I do not remember all of my answers very well. However, I remember one quite well.

They asked me, “what is important in writing, content or style”
I said, “both”.
They said, “choose any”.
I chose ‘content’.
They asked me ‘why’.

“If I do not have good content in the first place, no matter how far I go in learning the skills of writing, my writing will not do any good. However, if I have something good to say, I might fail in the beginning in presenting my ideas. However, by the time one day definitely I will pick the right style for my content.”
They smiled again. I do not know why. But I knew what I said was correct.

Alhamdulillaah ❤️.
They hired me as a trainee.
They hired me as a character and trained me for the skills.

If I say it in writing terms…
They hired me for the content. And, I picked the style on the way.

After being with them for a couple of years, I resigned from there as a senior editor. And, I started writing the content I always wanted to write. But I learned invaluable lessons from my first job.

Today, whenever I am reading any piece of writing my gut feeling tells me many things. Among many of them, one is ‘style without content’.

Though bad style shouts at you, exterior beauty without the depth of the soul is mere decoration.

Write Beautifully ❤️. Good style is a silent seller. But more important is to write not just for the sake of writing. Write Sensible. Rational. Honest. Original. Substantial. Meaningful. Useful. Write Worthwhile.

And, the same applies to ‘life’.
Be honest with the content, Allaah will bless you with the style.
“Whoever beautifies himself on the inside, Allaah will beautify him on the outside ❤️.”

Sisterly Yours
The Might of Pen 🌹

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