As I scratched my head at 2 am thinking of another Bring IT! topic, I drew a blank. Once again, I had scrolled down my list of ideas, only to find one reason after the next for why not to use each.
It’s funny this thing they call inspiration. You sit in front of a screen wanting to write something, anything, but you can’t seem to find the words that will naturally continue to flow. So you force yourself to continue staring, to continue trying – not wanting to go to bed until you’ve written at least the title if not more.
Luckily for me, my friend Mufasa came to the rescue. Within minutes, he had sent me a list of 5 ideas; three of which I already had similar unfinished drafts for – one, that I had already covered a while back – our greatest challenges as bloggers – and the one I have for you today.
So here’s me thanking the golden mane that you know as “the very talented Mr. Sheridan from The Sales Lion” for today’s Bring IT! topic.
Isn’t it amazing how you can always rely on your good blogger friends? We each want the other to succeed and write the next best article. And so we support each other, we compliment each other and we even give constructive criticism when we see fit – whether we ask for it or not.
I think it’s a beautiful thing. It just goes to show the mindset that many of us blog with and further reinforces what I’ve said time and time again.
We do not compete with each other, we compete with ourself.
No one has the exact same experiences and stories as you. No one shares the same personality nor the same voice. No one can be you except for YOU. Which leads me to today’s discussion…
How Did You Find Your Blogger’s Voice?
Granted, it’s not something you lose or misplace. Your voice is not your house keys or your favorite tie. It can certainly be at the back of your closet or gut, but it’s always been there. It’s always existed.
Everyone has their voice, it’s just a matter of knowing how to use it and being confident enough to do so out loud or in this case, online.
So how did your= find your blogger’s or writer’s voice?
Has it sounded the same since your first blog post, or does it continue to evolve with every piece you write?
As for Me…
If you were to look at my first few articles on nittyGiddy, you’d probably recognize my humorous side, but that’s about it.
I was taking weird and wacky stories that I’d find on the net and trash them in a sarcastic yet comical way. I was reading current news and regurgitating them with my style. And though they’re not painful to read, I simply had no direction yet as to what I really wanted to write about; the theme or niche I wanted to pursue.
I knew what I loved writing about, but I lacked the confidence or the willingness to share a part of myself online; to include personal snippets of my life and how they relate or fit in with the topic at hand.
What I have found, is that although we each have our authentic or unique voices, we can sometimes mold our voice into what the topic wants or needs to tell itself. I’m not sure whether this makes sense to you so allow me to try and explain.
Let’s say you’re writing a piece on “Etcetera” but the story of “Etcetera” demands a peculiar stance and a specific voice that will stand out. So in reality, a writer’s voice, although natural and their own, comes about from the material they’re about to cover. Although apparent to you and your readers, your voice is often the consequence of your material – it arises from it.
Take a book author as an example. Their voice may change from book to book, but it’s still recognizable. It might be different than the last one they used, but it’s their’s nonetheless.
Okay, enough of my philosophical musings.
So how did I find my voice?
Well, I believe in writing from the heart. I also believe in writing about something you care about, something that inspires you, something you love.
I would use the term “passion”, but let’s face it – although I’m passionate and absolutely gaga about writing in general, I’m not IN LOVE with each topic I take on. It might have interested me or inspired me, for I think you have to be in order to portray a part of yourself through your words, but I might not be “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs” over it.
But if you find that something you’re truly passionate about, then your distinct voice will come about regardless. It might take a little practice, but eventually, it will flow – sometimes even without you realizing.
The more you write, the more you become comfortable. Our work and our voice continuously evolve. Much like anything you consistently practice, you become better and your confidence grows. A confident writer has the power to let their thoughts shine.
It’s not about using big words, it’s about making a big impact with plain and simple ones.
The more blog posts I wrote, the more I challenged my comfort zone. I brought Griddy – the real live one – to the table. My personality can be seen in every article I write. And logically, why shouldn’t it be? After all, it’s me who’s writing. It’s my words, my mind, my style, my tone, my essence!
If you believe you stand out as a person, then believe you can stand out as a writer.
In real life, I’m pretty funny. I can be serious and I often am. But what I love to be and what I’m lucky to have come naturally to me, is a good sense of humor. If you were to ask my close friends to describe me in three words, funny or entertaining would be one of them.
I believe humor is an asset – and so I use it. Why on earth would I be entertaining offline and not online? It doesn’t make sense, since that’s who I really am. If you got it, then flaunt it! Just don’t be obnoxious – nobody likes a meaningless loud mouth.
Therefore when I write, I’m usually (not always) wearing my funny hat – metaphorically of course. There’s just no way in hell I could handle wearing a cap 15 hours a day!
I’m also rather opinionated. I mean come on – who isn’t in some way?! It’s one thing to share a flow of information, but it’s another thing to give your own take on it. People want to know what you think, how you think and why you think that way.
If I tell you G.W. Bush is hooked on phonics then you’ll wanna’ know why. But that’s an entirely different blog post for another blog ;).
My blogging forte is that I’m comfortable writing the way I speak. I whisper my words as I type them. I’m actually talking to myself. And I would recommend that any blogger do the same. Trust me – it works.
I learned that as a reader, I want to hear the writer’s words. I want to know that they’re saying them the way they would generally if I were sitting in front of them.
I read an endless number of articles each day. I think you have to read a lot as well as hear what others are saying. It helps you find your own pitch and style.
Finding your voice shouldn’t be a struggle – it just takes time.
You don’t have to try and sound like Hemingway or Poe. Just go with the flow, be yourself, trust yourself and write for yourself. Don’t worry too much what people will think or how they will perceive you. The important thing is that YOU sound like YOU and that YOU like YOU.
Our writing voice is like an unfinished canvas – a continuous work in progress.
What About You?
Did you claim your blogger’s voice?