Yesterday a commentator asked me about voice in writing. Her question was whether or not it was possible to write using two entirely different personalities. (My link to her here is a little thank-you for asking a question that inspired this post.)
This post isn’t exactly an answer to her question, but rather a reflection on the importance of voice in blogging.
There are many types of writing where voice is rather unimportant. You don’t want to know, for example, who wrote the instructions for your income tax forms. You’re probably not interested in who wrote the owner’s manual for your automobiles. Unless the author is a celebrity, you probably don’t care who wrote your cookbook. Unless they are writing an editorial (or sometimes a feature), most newspaper writers are taught to be objective and avoid including any personal thoughts or opinions in their news stories.
Blogging is exactly the opposite from these types of writing and from the way many writers were trained. Voice is key for a successful blogger.
Voice is why I feel that I “know” Angela, Tammi, Matt, Mig, Lillie, and Yvonne – even though we’ve never met face to face. I’m a frequent enough visitor at each of their blogs that when I read something Lillie has written I can think to myself, “that sounds just like the way that Lillie would approach that situation.”
Let’s face it. If all I wanted to do was learn about politics, creative writing, article writing, public relations, freelance writing, etc., then I could easily go over to the public library and check out any number of text books on the topic. Getting information on the subject is not quite enough for me. I want to hear about it from someone who has been there, done that.
That’s where blogs come in. That’s why voice in blogs is so important. I’m convinced that I’m like a lot of blog readers in that when I want to learn about something new I want to learn about what it’s really like, not just hear the hard and dried facts. What does it feel like to be a ProBlogger, for example? What’s the true inside scoop on making a living online? These are questions that only blogs, not informative articles, can answer.
How can you find a voice for your blog? My suggestion would be to read over your posts and ask yourself if there’s enough of you in them. Thank about how you would explain the topic to one of your close friends (if they were really interested). That’s the way you should write your posts if you want your voice to shine through.
Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved.