Voices on the page

I read a post today on the subject of the individual writer’s voice, specifically the use of punctuation, breaking rules of grammar, using the same style of writing repeatedly…run-on sentences, dashes, parentheses, foot notes, etc…

The post included quotes from several writers talking about their personal writing style quirks, why they use them, how their writing style is part of their message, and it was validating, encouraging, reassuring.

Sometimes I’m intimidated. I know the blogging world is nothing if not a platform for the individual writer’s voice, and that includes everything from the way some writers have humor pouring our of their keyboards to the way others use profanity, to the use (and mis-use) of punctuation, spelling, and grammar in general.

Still, sometimes I worry. If I write the way I talk, inevitably, I break rules. And I’m not funny enough, or a strong enough writer to get away with it. Am I?

Don’t answer that! I’m not looking for reassurance, just typing out loud here.

The answer is, no, I’m not that good a writer.

But maybe, in this forum, that’s not important.

What’s important is that I’m sharing my reality, and I’m always happy when someone comments as if to say, “Hey, that’s a reality I know too!”

I’m happy when someone comments out of empathy, or sympathy, or to share a different perspective. Because that’s the truly rich world of blogging.

Did you ever think that writers of past eras didn’t get the kind of feedback and interaction we receive through this medium? Good or bad, you’re putting yourself out to the world, and the world (or your 10 readers, or whomever!) has a chance to interact.

That’s exciting to me. It’s fun to me to have the exchange that comments offer…to know this isn’t a one way street. Whether I’m commenting on someone else’s post, or reading and replying to comments on my blog, the process reminds me I’m part of a larger group, a circle of writers, just like me, who use this platform to say just what they want, just as they want.

And the more I write, the more I read, the richer I become, and the better I become. No false modesty here…like anything else, practice actually does help this process.

So going forward, I’m going to write a little more freely…I’m not built to disregard the rules of grammar completely, and poor spelling is a particular pet peeve of mine. But I’m going to think less about style and let my voice speak for itself. I’m not likely to win any awards, but that isn’t what this is about anyway.

Here’s a link to the post. Maybe you’ll see something of yourself in the comments! Enjoy!

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8 thoughts on “Voices on the page

  1. I love that on our blogs, we can experiment and try different styles. I once entered a writing contest and lost, but the feedback they gave was, “Well-written, but nothing new.” I took that to mean that I have the mechanics down, but I need to focus on the creativity. I try to push myself and not stick to the expected style (my expectations or anyone else’s.) The hope is that I will grow as a writer and enjoy the process. That is my wish for you today!

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    • I agree…sometimes I feel like I’m repeating myself, or maybe repeating something I’ve read along the way, though not intentionally copying anyone….there are so many common experiences and responses to the stuff of life…how could we always write something new? I’ve come to realize…if it’s new to me, I still benefit from putting my thoughts down, seeing the words and letting them soak in…in the end, though I don’t view writing as a selfish act, I really am doing it in large part for myself. But maybe what I say can benefit someone else, and vice versa! We all learn from each other, right?! Thanks for the encouraging comments! ~ Sheila

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