I have been giving a little more thought lately to the “voice” of my blog. I have written around the topic in previous years but I’m not sure I’ve ever tackled it head-on. A great guest post by Mary DeMuth about how she found her tagline (it took 7 years) references it pretty nicely so visit that one when you’ve got a sec.
I do not believe that my blog’s voice has changed much over the years but it’s only been recently where I was actually giving it more than a passing thought. In many ways I just thought that however I was writing was the way that it would be written and that would be that; there were more important things to do and consider.
But could it be improved (if such a thing can actually be done)? I believe that writers who write often become better writers as a result, just like many art forms and practices. In the same vein, one must continue to review all parts of the form and craft so that one can continue to improve on the whole. Consequently, the “voice” of my blog cycled through my head as I surveyed the property.
I have been told often that readers can hear me speak when I write. I didn’t know how to take this the first time I heard it but now I consider it a great compliment. Naturally, this necessarily requires them to have heard me speak audibly but that isn’t too difficult to do since I’ve done more than a few vlogs in the past in addition to experimenting with Soundcloud for writing blog posts (here’s a good example). Or, we’ve met in person and for some strange reason they’ve subscribed to this blog. Bonkers, really.
Just like in real life my thoughts are often incomplete and imperfect. I stutter often and misspeak often. My blog posts are very much like this as well as there are spelling and grammatical errors (so much for “improving over time”!) all over the place. It is, at the very least, very human.
And that’s the point: If there is a voice to my blog it is as close to the one that I use when I conversate in public. It is as close to the very one that I use in candid conversation. It is, as best as I can make it (or as naturally as it comes out) just myself talking into a digitally printed form. Warts and all I suppose.
It isn’t tempered nor is it edited much at all (I have help and an editor of sorts for my other blogs – must be more “Pro” on those!). These personal posts come from the heart and can be pretty visceral. It gives me an opportunity to understand the world and express things in an open and honest way.
All-in-all I imagine that the voice of my blog is one between friends as we sit in the corner of a local pub or caffeine joint sharing stories with the confidence and trust that friendship affords. This is saying a lot since I don’t actually have that many friends to begin with and the fact that most of the people who read this blog are individuals I’ve never actually met but I can’t help it as this is how I dialogue and this is how I blog.
Is it “authentic” and “real” and “engaging” and all those other buzzworthy words about blogging effectiveness? Shit man, I don’t have the faintest clue! But that’s ok, I’m good with that.