A Blogging Voice

Have you ever called your own phone and when your message answers, you wonder for a second, Who the heck is that?  Our voices, traveling from our vocal apparatus to our ears internally sound differently than they do to others.   That’s true of our written voices, too … what we write sounds differently as we’re writing it than it does to our readers.  That’s one of the reasons that a useful technique for revision of something we’ve written is to put it away long enough to be able to come back and read it as if we weren’t the author.  Of course, critique groups exist because we can’t detach completely from our own creations.

A writer’s voice is what identifies his writing as uniquely his own … but that isn’t a very useful definition.   I like this one, from Ten Steps to Finding Your Writing Voice on hollylisle.com:  Voice isn’t merely style. Style would be easy by comparison. Style is watching your use of adjectives and doing a few flashy things with alliteration. Style without voice is hollow. Voice is style, plus theme, plus personal observations, plus passion, plus belief, plus desire. Voice is bleeding onto the page, and it can be a powerful, frightening, naked experience.  I think that as readers, we come to expect a certain voice from our favorite authors.   I wonder, is a consistent voice necessary to be a successful blogger (whatever that means)?

Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog has evolved into a blog-a-zine reporting the older perspective from the point of view a team of reporters that live inside my head.  There’s the Older Observer of life, touched and somewhat amused by all that he sees.  There is the Inner Curmudgeon, snarky and more critical than the Older Observer but hopefully with enough of a sense of humor that you know he doesn’t mean anything by it**.  There’s the Grandfather, doting on his grandkids as he chuckles at their antics while learning be more to more childlike and the Self-Help Amateur, exploring relationships from the inside of a 43 year marriage.   And of course, there’s the Philosopher, tacking the serious issues of life … and death … with almost as many questions as answers.   Occasionally a Scientist, a Sports Fan, a Music Lover or a Comedian shows up.  Is it even possible to have a consistent voice with such a large staff or does each persona end up with its own?

I’ve been told in comments that my style is conversational.  I like that.   I’ve also been told my grammar needs work … I don’t like that but maybe it comes with being conversational.  I hope my posts are informative and accessible … although I work hard at providing links and references, I suppose accessibility may be a casualty during my forays into science and sports.   I like to think that there is a touch of humor in my most serious posts and that at my funniest, there’s something serious under  the chuckles.  I hope you can see that the Inner Curmudgeon loves life as much as the Older Observer … and that the Older Observer can let’r rip if he puts his mind to it.   I hope there’s a touch of uncertainty in everything I write and that I’m never preachy.  If I’m ever evangelical, get out your Blogging Gun and shoot me.  I hope you’ve noticed some blood on the page.   I don’t know if that constitutes a voice or even if it’s what you read … I am, after all, the author.  If you have anything to add, have at it.

More importantly, I’d like to know what you think.  Does having a voice matter in blogging?   Does it have to be consistent?   Do you ever think about what your Blogging Voice sounds like to the rest of us?

** I don’t mean anything by it was my Dad’s favorite saying when a social faux pas brought that look of horror to his children’s eyes.

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5 Comments on “A Blogging Voice”

  1. First of all, I’m beginning to be concerned about all your personalities. 😉 Just kidding; in fact, it leads into my point about a writer’s voice: I think one’s voice is important, but malleable. Clearly, I have different voices for my writing. What’s important to me is that my thoughts are clear and are well-expressed, and that they resonate with readers, even if those readers don’t agree with me. As humans, we are multi-faceted, multi-dimensional and multi-“mooded.” Our personalities change with days, developments, etc. Why shouldn’t our writing voices follow? They allow us to show the diversity that lies within us as an individual. Showing others a different, but still true, voice shows them another side of us.

  2. Margie Says:

    I read my blog posts out loud to myself as a final test of voice. If it doesn’t flow well, the out loud reading usually catches what is wrong.

  3. Cheryl P. Says:

    I think if we all had the advantage of knowing each other we would read the posts in a different light. It is hard to get the underlying sense of the author’s intent if you don’t know the personality, aren’t privy to the voice inflections, hand gestures, facial expressions, etc. There are times my intent is to be funny. Of course, humor is so subjective. If I am trying to make a sincere point and people have in their mind I am always poking fun, they are reading it with the mind’s eye of surely she is being satirical. Then there is the other faction, when I really am just being silly and someone comes back with “slapping my hand and scolding me” comment. I don’t think as a blogger, I can convey my mood or my tone. Hopefully, in time people will come to know me a bit. Of course they might have it all wrong and they just think they know me.

  4. Oscar Says:

    I do see a style in your writing. I admire it. It’s very … let me call it.. distinguished. Mature. I do see the different sides of you and like that. I think we all have that. I can tell by some bloggers when they are just posting because they have to and when they want to.

    I proof read mine before I publish. Then a while later make corrections. The more I read it the more it changes. You DO have to have a stopping point – If you keep policing yourself, you won’t BE yourself!

    Thanks again for teh award BTW

  5. I find your posts -regardless of which personality is writing -to be, as a general rule, very introspective, analogies that show other perspectives and sharp -sometimes very deep thinking, but always interesting and well-pieced together.

    If one can see ‘voice’ in my posts I think it would be rambling, disjointed, unorganized, confused/confusing -often to the point of being boring and lost in space -but then, if that’s the case, it is also showing exactly how I am, much of the time, in person.

    I rarely read my posts after I finishing writing them. although I do try to kind of scan them briefly, paragraph by paragraph, mainly for grammar/spelling errors, occasionally for readability, comprehension, etc. But if I got into that too much, I’d never post anything!

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