Okay, I’m back on the voice thing.
It’s one of the things I’ve struggled with the most with this whole blogging adventure. And I think a lot of us feel the same way. How do we write without sounding like a robot? Or like the most boring person on the planet? You know when you read over your blog post and the only thing you are thinking is….
I’m not that boring in real life… am I?
I did a course with April from Blacksburg Belle a few weeks ago. A pretty busy 4 week course on blogging. It even had homework! But I was a good little square bear (when am I not?) and I kept up with the course the whole way through. And I did my homework. Yup, told you. Square bear.
And between doing the course and looking, like really looking at other people’s blogs, I’m starting to figure out how to find my voice a little more. I’m sure you find it bit by bit, piece by piece. It’s not a revelation. It’s not you’ve got it or you don’t. I think it’s something you slowly find and discover and grow. These are the things I think I’ve worked out so far…
You gotta give it some personality. Mayi Carles talkes about cupcakes and Panama and community. And she writes how she talks. Rapid fire and with Energizer bunny enthusiasm. Srinivas Rao talks about surfing. A lot. Everything ties back to surfing. In a good way. In an – even though I don’t surf, I still get it – kinda way. But the thing is, it’s gotta be your personality. Don’t talk about green juicing if you start off your morning with a chocolate milkshake. Let out the quirky bits that make you, you.
You gotta paint a picture. One of the awesome tips I got from April was about using all your senses. Don’t just write what you think. Include what you see, hear, smell and taste. And best of all, what do things feel like – to the touch of course, but also what does your heart feel. What do you feel inside? And use lots of describing words (I’m starting to channel my English teacher – imagine me squinting over the top of my glasses). A steaming hot chocolate, piled high with airy froth with two pink marshmallows slowly sinking into it. When you write it like that, you can almost taste it. Just saying a cup of hot chocolate – not so much. But you can’t over do it, otherwise it sounds fake and wanky.
Show me the metaphor. Or actually, the simile. Similes are “like” phrases -I still remember this thanks to my grade 8 English teacher who would hit your knuckles with a ruler if you didn’t get the answer right. Ah the good old days, where the teachers could assault you with stationery without getting sued. ‘I felt warm and fuzzy inside LIKE a hot chocolate on a cold winters day’. (Can you tell it’s getting cool here? I’m fantasizing about hot chocolates and bed socks and thick, snuggly jumpers).
I talk with lots of wording that is very me. My own little sayings and phrases.
But for some reason, I run my words through a washing machine to make them squeeky clean for my blogs. And while the whites are whiter than white, they are also blander than bland.
No-one wants to read that. When there are so many amazing voices out there, you need to be you to stand out. To be found. To be read. To be heard.
Every time I’ve let a little bit of me shine through, I’ve thought I’ve found my voice. But then I discover there is a little more to let out. And around I go again.
Are you feeling like your writing is a little blah? (Cause I’ve felt, a lot!)
Do you feel like you are even boring yourself silly? (Yep, that too)
I know part of the adventure I have loved so much is getting to know myself better and finding your voice is a big part of that. Another one of those hidden rewards on this adventure.
Maybe we can work on this whole voice thing together?