It has been more than six months since I was consistently writing blog posts. So I was curious to notice that the voice I used in my writing several days ago is almost identical to the way I used to write last year. Which gets me wondering if my writing voice is now set, or whether I can change it if I desire to?
What is my writing voice? Where does it originate from?
Is it the voice in my head as I think about what I want to write and later edit my creation? Can I choose a certain voice and have it be genuinely mine or is that just faking it?
My best guess is that a person’s writing voice is pretty much the voice they use in their own head. Anything else is going to show some cracks sooner or later as they leave a network of inconsistencies and undertones through their writing. While this may be a problem in a professional sort of environment, it is a good thing in a blog as it helps to get a feel for the personality of the author behind the posts and enables some sort of connection between author and audience.
When you think about it, the words on a page (or screen) are written by a person, it follows that the personality of the writer is going to show through in the way each person writes. Yet voice must comprise more than just personality, there is also skill and knowledge involved – it is easy to spot a writer who lacks these elements! And obviously life experience must also have a hefty influence; all the bottled up angst, rage, loves, losses, struggles and wasted years seep through words as they flow from pen to page (OK, keyboard to screen).
Remember that you’re also not just you, but many people. You’re a parent or a friend or a lover or an employee or a speaker or a blogger or a stranger on the street or a patron at a restaurant or a person jogging in the park. You have many facets of personality, and each one is a part of you. (James Chartrand, Men with Pens)
The quote above helps explain my thinking behind setting up this website in the way I have. Previously I’ve blogged for three years on the topic of faith in Christ, then gradually I began looking for other outlets to write about other stuff that is rattling around in my head. I also had ideas of creating a blog/website focussing on substances that are poisonous to pets. All these are aspects of who I am and in the end I decided to bring them together within one website.
Maybe this site will become a bit of a hodge-podge of stuff I write, but hopefully in it all my writing will improve and a cohesive voice will unify diverse content. And getting back to the topic of writing voice, this seems like a good summary:
Voice is not one thing. It is, in fact, the summation of a writer. (Chuck Wendig, terribleminds)