((This was taken from my blog and after conferring with Oz, I lengthened it some to adapt it to this group.)) In my Marketing class we're taught that every single restaurant is a monopoly. Well, how is that possible if monopolies are illegal in the States? It's because every business has be to be unique and individual and has to have that element that makes one customer choose them over some other restaurant. That is in a sense, how we create monopolies in the food industry. McDonalds, Burger King, Carls Jr, In-N-Out, Whataburger, Braum's - All these places serve hamburgers. And yet they're different. McDonalds have these disgusting burgers that really shouldn't be considered a burger, it's mostly bread, and it's horrible bread at that. Burger King, well, they have the Whopper and they've just gotten rid of that ridiculous mascot. Carls Jr caters to the young male audience with their huge burgers and sauces and In-N-Out only cooks with fresh beef, never frozen. What-a-burger servers their burgers on toast and Braum's have these fantastic fries to go with their burgers. What I'm trying to say is that this same sort of concept can be applied to writing. What makes you different as a writer compared to the vast pool of other writers in the world? What makes you unique and original? And to be more precise, what do you have to say that would make someone want to read what you've written? You don't have to be revolutionary, or awe inspiring, but you have to be a writer who invokes some sort of thought and emotion, otherwise you're just ranting. This is what I think a lot of people struggle with and it's something that I'm trying to work on as well. So how do you make yourself different and original? First you need a voice. Starting off, you may find a writer whose writing style speaks volumes to you and you may want to write like them . It's a very good starting point, but remember to work towards your own voice as you continue writing. Is your own style humorous? Dark? Serious? Or is absolutely all over the place? And if you can't find a writer that works for you, write whatever comes to your mind. Go ahead, rant and rave about whatever. It typically hones itself as time passes. Next you need content. Are you there to hand out cold hard facts? Or are you there to entertain and tell a story? What about both? It's important to keep the reader's interest, and not have their minds wander off. (Unless, that's what you want them to do.) That's about all I can say about this subject. Again I am trying to learn how to make myself stand out from a crowd. If you have any suggestions or commentary, I'd be glad to hear it.