Finding My Voice

Today’s Prompt:

Do you feel you have found your voice on your blog? What techniques have you tried to develop your voice in your writing? What are some characteristics of your personality in your writing?

finding-your-voiceSince I have not been writing and posting regularly since this NaBloPoMo writing challenge started, I think I am still searching for my voice. It has been a challenge due to the path I have been on. When I was a child, I loved writing stories and seemed to be good at it. This writing, a field trip to the city daily paper and watching the daily news after dinner, led me to the idea of journalism. We had some great local journalist in print and on television, that must have inspired me to research the idea of attending Carleton University in Ottawa for their journalism program as it was the program at the time.

However I did end up attending the local university, and while I thought my goal was to obtain a Communications degree (Marshall MacLuhan, is the medium is the message?), I reverted to my original idea of receiving it in English Literature instead.  It is incredible to think just how many papers I wrote during that time. I remember one semester, I had 20. T-W-E-N-T-Y.  It was Literature so that often meant essays that were several thousand words or regularly 10+ pages.  Why use 6 words when you can use a dozen? Use the biggest and longest words, the most descriptive. It was LITERATURE afterall.

Fast forward to post degree working life. Product marketing  – become the personality of the brand: express, entice, inspire, entertain, create desire… tell the story, make them want, the soft sell. Still, this was not my voice.

And in recent years:  Social Media. Facebook:  One or two sentence status updates. Twitter. 140 characters. How my brain rebelled against the concept of writing very succinctly – so at odds with the all the years of university writing. Writing that now considers how text appears on-line as a formatting guide , e.g., paragraphs that are 4 lines or less, and no more than 12 words per line.

“Short paragraphs get read, long paragraphs get skimmed, really long paragraphs get skipped.”

– Jason Fried, @jasonfried, Founder & CEO at Basecamp

Diplomat INFP - via "Poetic, kind and altruistic people, always eager to help a good cause."

Diplomat INFP – via “Poetic, kind and altruistic people, always eager to help a good cause.”

It has definitely been a challenge to adjust to this new format at the same time as finding my voice. I truly think the best technique really is just to keep writing as much as time allows.  For a personal blog, I am making more of an effort to let my personality come through. That includes me taking a quick personality test to reassure myself that yes, I am in introvert and according to a quick online test, 16 Personalities, an INFP.  If you have not done a personality test for a while, it is worth the 20 minutes – you will find out if your characteristics are truly ingrained or perhaps you have evolved. This  was quite scarily accurate and I do see these characteristics come through.

I was chatting with a friend earlier and I told her that my hope is that when someone reads the posts here, they may feel like they are having a conversation with me.  I have been told by some of the people I first met via social media that I am very much the same person in real life, so I must be doing something right!

What about you? How long did it take you to find your voice on your personal blog?



2 responses

  1. It’s hard to stuff my own voice into all these different frameworks. Just when I get accustomed to a platform, a new must-use platform crops up and it’s time to adapt. As long as the ideas are genuine, I suppose we’re doing okay 🙂

    1. Thanks for dropping by Courtney! I have to think positive about new platforms so I can be one of those old dogs who does,/i> learn new tricks. One thing I did not mention above was also the cultural and generational restrictions I felt when trying to develop that voice while growing up. But as you said, keeping genuine ideas, and keep writing – We’re good! 🙂

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