The 5 Ws of Life: How

When I was in elementary school, I could not wrap my teeny little mind around the idea that there could somehow be a sixth letter in the five Ws. Moreover, that sixth letter was a freakin H! That was one reality that I steadfastly refused to accept.

But then I grew up, and the mantra of “Who, what, where, when, why, and how” took over every time I had to do any major writing or argumentative assignment. And once I learned to accept the oddity of the five Ws, I learned another key life skill: style.

We can do everything right–we can do everything to the textbook and make things as flawless as possible, but still have our efforts and attempts turn out as worse than one full of flaws.

Because they aren’t flaws. They’re stylistic differences. We don’t dress the same because we all have different ways of expressing ourselves through clothing. In the same way—we all talk differently, using personal variations in our pitch, meter, and diction to convey an emotion to someone else in the way that we felt it.


Growing up, we’ve been pressured to do everything to one set of instructions. Whenever we tried to tailor our assignment to fit our style we would get yelled as. A commonly used phrase in English classes is “Well, the author had creative license to do that—but you don’t have that license yet”. So let me ask you this: What did he or she have to do to get that license?

The answer?


Creative license is something that we create whenever we want to. Abiding by one set of limitations may work—and it may get us across the bridge of our lives. But there are more interesting ways to traverse the River Styx before we have to make that final crossing.

That creative license is nothing but a simple decision on the author’s part on how to write the works that he or she wrote. That’s it.

We always have creative license. Starting this blog, I’ve got creative license: because I get to choose what button my finger hits next. I get to choose the content. And the material. And whether or not to use complete sentences to convey an idea: even whether or not I. should UsE conventional or unconventional cap!talization and spelling.

So can you.

We’ve earned our creative license the moment we were born. All we have to do is go pick it up. And that’s done at the Bureau of Intrapersonal Decisions. So put forth a BID for your skills and make the effort. There’s no one who can tell you otherwise—you’re the one behind the wheel.


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