Erudition is conformity. It is to read the ‘right books’ and write in the ‘correct manner’. It is to be a good citizen. It is to bend the knee in order to be anointed with the kiss of acceptance.
I write the way I write and I think the way I think because of the books I read, the films I watch, the podcasts I listen to and the people I look up to. I am a part of a set of traditions; Cahiers du Cinema meets Science Fiction fandom meets analytical philosophy meets critical theory. Because I am a part of these various traditions, I measure my improvement in terms of my asymptotic approach to their styles and values. In this I am no different to anyone else whether you are seeking to publish short stories, climb the corporate ladder or find love. We all bend the knee.
This is one reason why it is always a pleasure to encounter something that is both undeniably brilliant and completely detached from the intellectual traditions to which you aspire and belong.