Finding Your Blog Voice: A Preview

I got caught up in federal grant proposal season and didn’t tell you that I’m going to be speaking at WordCamp San Francisco this weekend!

I’ll post highlights from my talk either here or on my business site, but for now I want to offer a few tidbits and ask what you think about, or want to know about, blog voice.

photo credit: Scott Robinson via creative commons attribute license

photo credit: Scott Robinson via creative commons attribute license

I believe that voice, for writers, photographers, artists, and bloggers, simmers when you cook a topic in style and passion. When you choose what you want to communicate, form it in the way you, a human with experiences and opinions, want to convey it, and inform that communication with the reasons that drive you to write/photograph/draw/blog…that concoction is your voice. And it’s repeatable when you focus on the how and the why of what you choose to talk about, as long as that style is your genuine voice, your impetus is honest, and your style gets out of the way of your truth.

Wordy, I know. I have a couple of days to make that more clear. Luckily, between my slides and my tendency to present in monosyllabic caveperson grunts, my experience with and ideas about voice should be clearer in the talk.

I have really cool examples, too.

So what do you want to hear about blog voice? If I can, I’ll add it to the talk before I present and subsequently post.


8 thoughts on “Finding Your Blog Voice: A Preview

  1. I have been looking for my voice my whole life, and it turns out that after a whole life speaking spanish and writing poems in spanish,my true voice will come out in spanglish or just plain bad english to talk about Houston and the way of living in US for the poor people. I have found out that poor people dont have a voice, they dont even have internet, most of the time, many of them barely can read or write and they are just too busy trying to survive to care about anything else. I am poor, too, but my little brain is restless till i get someone to read how is it to be the last person in a big city.

    • Language is always secondary to passion and the need to speak. The tradition of Depression-Era poverty poetry, plays, stories, and songs are powerful examples of how the human heart will make itself heard no matter how hard they must fight to do so. And how the creative souls move mountains for those vast numbers of people who simply don’t have the means.

      Language is just a tool. Use any language or combination thereof to say what you absolutely can’t keep to yourself. If you can make your reader understand, it doesn’t matter how you phrase, translate, or spell. That’s the point of poetry, right?

      Good luck!

  2. I was JUST reflecting on this today. My concern about my own blog voice is that it’s genuine (really how I think/feel/talk) and not contrived to please people or to impersonate bloggers whom I admire. But I’ve found this harder than expected since I read so many blogs myself. Just like you start to say “Wisgonsin” after spending a week in Green Bay, I worry that I’ll start to sound like the blogs I frequent when creating my own.

    Were one of my own blog posts shuffled with 5 other bloggers’ posts, would people be able to recognize my posts as unique? Does content have something to do with it? (I blog about family life on a small farm).

    Thanks for any input you might have to offer!

    Anne Winter, creator at

    • Anne, this is an interesting question a lot of writers grapple with. When you love what you read, you tend to pick up bits of those writers’ styles. But if you read a lot, there’s no way you’ll be copying someone else’s voice. What it sounds like, really, is that you’re still finding yours. It’s a process, and it often takes a long time to feel like you really know your voice.
      Keep writing.
      And know that style and tone aren’t your voice. Style, tone, experience, frame, taste, and personality are all wrapped together to deliver WHY you write. That’s you’re voice: the synergy in how you write and why you write and what you write about.

      • Thank you for your insight. I am still figuring out my voice since I haven’t often used it since my pre-marriage writing days. The “me” behind my voice is different from the “me” who wrote back then. All those synergistic elements you mentioned–taste, tone, WHY I write–have changed and I find myself trying to choose or decide on a new voice to use. But, I also know that my writing voice should be allowed to develop a little more organically than that.

        Thank you again. Good luck with your talk!

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