Novice bloggers often worry about this little mystery called a writing voice. What is it, and, most importantly, how do you find it?
I was certainly one of them when I began (nearly one year ago, yeet). From years upon years of reading, I knew what a writing voice was, but it was a totally different thing to put it into practice. Was I supposed to be serious and write essay-like posts? Or should I be silly and have funny, relatable posts?? SO, I did both, but not simultaneously. Separately. And it was strange. don’t read my old posts i’m begging you.
I’d kind of forgotten how hard it was and hadn’t planned to write a post like this, but I was reminded by a certain comment that it was a topic I needed to address (thank you, Mary!) With a lot of work and getting comfortable in my own skin, I found my own writing style and voice that I love.. and that we’ll examine in depth in a little bit!
If you’ve been meaning to make your posts unique or find what makes your writing special, it’s time to sit back and talk about finding your writing voice. Let’s gooo!
First of all, what is a writing voice? I don’t know about you, but the first thing I think when I hear ‘writing voice’ is a singing voice. My favorite artist when I was little was Demi Lovato — yeah, I was one of those Camp-Rock-obsessed kids — because her voice was so distinct. She’s got a one-in-a-million voice and you could easily pick it out.
Like a distinct voice, a distinct way of writing can gain you more fans. Because you’re different, and that’s awesome. Here’s the million-dollar question: what makes you stand out from the 12 million other bloggers on the web? That’s exactly what you need to ask to find your voice and take your writing to the next level.
What makes me different? It’s kind of hard to tell, because, through my own eyes, I’m not special. I only see the general things, the things that ‘everyone’ does. I’m homeschooled, I like to create things, and I’m a Christian — those are three facts about me, but they’re also true for most of the people I follow.
How on earth, then, do I stand out??
If you’re not sure that you’re unique-content-worthy, think about the small things that make you stand out. They can be general things, like my love for contemporary YA, or something small and seemingly insignificant…. like my Ninjago obsession!
WAIT A SEC LET’S ELABORATE ON THAT. You more than likely have never seen an episode of Ninjago, and you almost certainly aren’t a supremely dedicated fan. But Ninjago has become a staple in my blog. I’m kinda infamous for it now and my readers think it’s hilarious. A few of you have emailed me to show memes or a comment from a younger sibling. It’s adorable. You guys are the cutest 🙃
This is what the blogging world calls a trademark. It’s something unique to you, like me and my ninja, Abbiee and her waffles, and Sarah and her dry wit. Your trademark can be anything you want it to be — something you love, your mission statement, or a quality unique to you. aNyThInG. Get creative.
The same also applies to a more technical aspect — actual writing. The actual words and punctuation you use in your posts is just as important as the content. I tend to use three trends in my writing: constant fandom references, constant slang, and 239435874 punctuation marks in a row. All three of those can weave into the way I write my post.
Say, for example, I was writing a review.
I could say: “This book was a big draw for me because the romance, but it did not quite meet my expectations. The love interest was stereotypical, and the romance was forced.”
Or I could implement my trademarks: “I was really looking forward to this book, but??? I expected a lot more from it. The love interest was really dull. If there’s a romance, it needs to have at least some sort of resemblance to Jaya. Like actually have some sparks man!!”
The content’s the same. I’m addressing the same subject in both situations. But the first one could have been written by ANYONE. The second is
quite obviously a lot more recognizable.
Something we like to say online (or anywhere, really) is be yourself! be authentic! never adapt to your environment!! And while I think that’s good advice for interacting with others over the internet, it’s not what I recommend for blogging.
Before you even think I’m telling you to abandon your own personality in exchange for a better, more attractive one just to make your writing more unique, (wHICH I AM NOT BC YOU ARE AMAZING AS YOU ARE) let me explain.
My personality is an odd one. I’m reserved and awkward when I’m around people I don’t know, but loud and outgoing and still awkward when I’m with my friends. Both are cool, and both are genuinely me.
When I’m writing posts like this, I have a choice of which part of myself I choose to display. Just like real life, you can make a lasting impression by which side you choose. I like to focus on the bolder version of myself on my site because (1. it’s more fun to scream all the time, and (2. not many people like to be boisterous. It’s my own personal Demi Lovato voice, so to say.
Put some of that personality into your writing, love. You’re so special and unique. You just have to be willing to put yourself out there so others will recognize it.
I hope you’ve found a few ways to make your writing stand out in the crowd! Thank you, Mary, for your questions. I had a lot of fun diving a little deeper into the subject!
Thoughts? What’re the staples in your writing? What trademarks do you have on your blog, or have you noticed on others’ blogs?
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