How To Find Your Blog Voice
Becoming a better writer means becoming a better person.
This is my 31st post and it marks the completion of my first month of blogging.
I’ve written about priming your creativity in ‚How To Write A New Blog Post Every Day.‘ Today we’ll explore the peculiar metaphor of finding your blogging voice.
„Finding your voice“ is one of those metaphors that sound so nice but are hard to understand. Hard to turn into actionable steps.
It’s in one category with “be yourself” or “be authentic.” Practically useless!
In “finding” there’s the presupposition that your voice is hidden and needs to be discovered first.
How do you do it? Where do you look?
- Is it hidden in the depths of your cluttered desk?
- Secretly encrypted on your hard drive?
- Is it an esoteric entity in your mind that makes words flow into your keyboard?
You see, nice metaphors lead to all kinds of confusion.
First, let’s be clear we’re talking about your voice in writing. Not about speaking or singing.
Here’s the secret …
Here’s The Secret To Finding Your Unique Voice In 30 Seconds Or Less
- Open any blog post you’ve written.
- Take a look at what you’ve written.
- There you’ll see your voice.
Took you just seconds to find it.
Sorry to be blunt!
Once you’ve found your voice, how can you [as I promised above] become a better writer and a better person?
Here’s a wonderful insight from Edmund Blair Bolles:
“Like stage presence in actors, voice emerges from a writer’s being. The writer is often unconscious of it and does not always try to create it.”
Now we’re getting somewhere.
The way you write is affected by your personality.
Depending on your character you will show a specific way of wording the things you write. If you had different character you would say the same thing in different words.
That’s what I mean when I say you’ll find you your voice simply by looking at what you’ve written.
- It’s not something that needs to be searched for.
- It’s not something that’s not here yet, not something that’s supposed to bubble up from hidden depths in the future.
Are you up for an experiment?
Ok, let’s try to find my blogging voice. :-)
Take a 30 second look at what I’ve written above.
- Can you feel the know-it-all behind the writing?
- The condescending teacher?
- The author[ity] who feels a serious need to set things straight?
- To heal humanity from its muddled thinking?
Ah, yes, you got me there!
Or look at these 3 quotes from my other blog posts.
“To build the lifestyle you desire you must conquer the freedom-commitment paradox! “
“The back links you hoped to generate with distributing content are under intense scrutiny by Google. “
“Today, Internet marketing requires time, money, and knowledge far beyond what was needed ten years ago. If you’re not willing to upgrade your internet marketing to a professional level, you might as well just STOP.”
Wow! Isn’t that depressing? Sounds like there’s a tough world out there, and lots of hard work with little rewards.
What kind of guy would write stuff like that?
Do you see how looking at your writing can reveal not only your voice, but also the ‘writer’s being?’
</END OF EXPERIMENT>
Refining Your Voice
Once you’re paying attention to your voice, you may want to refine it. For the sake of your readers. Or for the sake of your own personal growth.
What I find, looking back at one month of daily blogging, is that you can’t upgrade your writing without upgrading your thinking first. That’s pretty cool.
It’s too early to proof, but I firmly believe that doing so consistently will not only change your writing but also your personality.
Finally, see three examples from this very post.
1) “The way you write is tainted by your personality.”
Huh? My personality is tainting my writing? You got to be kidding me! But that was actually the first sentence that popped into my keyboard.
Rewording this was more than rewording. It required a change in thinking.
[The tainting metaphor is worth a blog post in itself. And probably a Freudian therapy for the author.]
2) “Huh?” The innocent “Huh?” a few lines above read “WTF?” in version one.
It’s a conscious choice to not use this type of vocabulary in my posts.
I fully expect to lose this vocabulary in my real-life conversations automatically within a few weeks. Simply because refining my writing voice will transfer into everyday life.
3) “Edmund Blair Bolles said:”
Doesn’t that sparkle from excitement?
If you’re curious, scroll up and see what I wrote instead.
Rewording this was more than rewording. It required a change in feeling.
The reader isn’t the only one who feels better with the upgraded version.
The Voice You’re Finding Isn’t The One You Were Looking For
When we talk about “Finding our voice” we’re thinking about the great one, the inspiring one. The one that readers will love us for.
But this one isn’t found.
It’s developed, by looking at your current voice, and changing it sentence by sentence to reflect a better, more inspiring you.