This is a guest post by Jocelyn Anne of Heater Home
So, you’re ready to start blogging. You’ve maybe got a blog page created, you have a topic and plan of attack all worked out and…game time!
But. Wait. Why is the screen in front of you still blank?
Have you spent a ridiculous amount of time wondering just how to begin this first most momentous post? Or have you written a couple and wondered who the heck wrote those?
If this has been you/still is you, I’d be willing to bet you’re encountering a struggle with determining just what your writing voice is.
When you embark on this crazy journey of starting a blog, the idea of picking a voice and solidifying it is tricky at best, overwhelming at a minimum and powerful all at the same time. But, not to fear! I’ve got some tips that I’ve picked up along the way.
Let’s do this thing: let’s find your voice!
Comparing and Contrasting
Who do you like to read, why? Compile a list of some of your favorite bloggers.
What do they have in common? Is it because they are the polar opposite of you or because they’re similar? You will likely get some inspiration into what you want your blog to look like and sound like simply based on the blogs that you are attracted to, because chances are pretty high they’ll all have a fairly similar voice.
Then the question becomes whether you’re going to follow that same sort of voice, and if so, how you’re going to tweak it to make it uniquely your own.
Come up with five different voices that you think you might be able to pull off. If you never plan on writing sassy, don’t do a sassy voice and if you never plan on having the slightest amount of straightforward-monotone-research, then skip that one too.
Then, find five blogs that will let you guest post for them. Write a piece for each in a different voice. When all is said and done, look back and do some reflection.
- Which one was the most enjoyable to write?
- Which one was the hardest to write?
- Which one felt the most “comfortable”?
- Which post received the best feedback?
- Which one can you imagine writing from every day?
You’ll have to be careful, a little bit, with maybe not picking the most obvious choice if one voice was perhaps easiest and the most comfortable. The reason? It’s probably likely to get boring.
That’s not to say you should pick the hardest that got the best response because that one might just get overwhelming. Maybe combine a little of two voices in one and see what you can come up with.
Remember the days when we wrote handwritten letters and journals? If you have any of your old handwritten writing that you can dig up, do it! You’ll be amazed at the insight you can get looking at how you wrote when it was using pen and paper.
And, take that a step further.
Write a blog post now, but write it out with pen and paper first. We often write a more personal style voice when we are writing on paper, and this might be just what you need to find out who your voice is deep down inside.
Take one photo that either means a lot to you or that simply inspires you. This might be a photo from 20 years ago of your family, or a photo you just found today on Pinterest that made you smile in a way you haven’t smiled in a long time. Dig out an old recipe of your mother’s or an old souvenir of your fathers. Find the first gift your significant other gave you. Write about it.
When you’re writing based off of visual cues, your voice will change. You might like it, you might not, but it’s worth exploring.
Remember: You Can’t Go Wrong
We tend to think of our “voice” as something we can grasp and lay ahold of. We imagine it as fixed, as stable, as permanent once we discover it. But, your voice is you!
It doesn’t really matter if you write all sweet and sappy today and all funny and sassy tomorrow. Both are you and in the end, your readers will get a better picture of you because all those voices are yours and they make up a more complete person.
Never feel that you have to write just one way or from one voice only. Write how you feel like writing. It’s all you, and when you’re writing from you, you can’t go wrong!
Let Your Voice Grow
Finally: just because your voice starts out one way, does not mean that it cannot evolve. In fact, I’d say if it doesn’t evolve over time, you will have some problems! You’ll likely get bored, your readers will get bored, and it’s a pretty sure sign that you’re stuck in a rut.
As you learn new things, go deeper and really dive into your subject content, your voice should grow with that. If you’re writing the same things in the same ways in 5 years, you probably need to pick a new topic.
About The Author: Freelancer Jocelyn Anne spent far too long struggling to find a specific “voice” and finally decided just to write and let her voice be what it wanted to be depending on the topic at hand. She now writes and blogs for Heater Home and has found an entirely new voice writing their electric heater guide.