When our semester began and I was introduced to this world of blogging, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious. I knew nothing about expressing my voice online for people to see, let alone blogging in general, and I was clueless as to how I could write in an opinionated fashion such as this. Five weeks later, I am a more confident and capable student in the technology department and I even feel comfortable with touching up my blog every now and then. However, I, along with some of my peers, are struggling to find our own voices in our writing.
For some reason, it is difficult to create and identify yourself with a voice that suits you when you are writing opinionated pieces. So get ready to read about my views on my own voice as a writer, how I see myself as a blogger, and leaving some room to analyze what I want to change to be a better one.
Defining My Voice
So, first thing’s first: I have a more casual tone when it comes to my blogging. My speaking style and voice sends the message that I want my readers to have fun with the reading and engage with what I have to say. I think it is a personal style because I like to think I am a very personable person. I want all of my readers to feel included and comfortable with my topics. Like Zinsser mentions in his text, it is crucial to not confuse the readers. When something appears complex, readers turn the other way, so I try to keep it simple most of the time–I hope! I tend to intertwine my voice with the topics we read about for class discussions, which I think sometimes appears more analytic than opinionated. Basically, my writing is eclectic to say the least. But I am working on it constantly to tweak it to be the way I want it to be.
Integration of Personal Traits
It is always difficult to list our most important personal traits because unfortunately, not many of us like to compliment and praise ourselves. However, as we grow older, our traits become more defined and it becomes harder to not notice them anymore. So a few traits that I believe make me who I am are the following:
I actually took a Strengths Finder test a year ago through the Gallup Strengths Center and some of these traits were a few of the five main personal traits that I possess. The thing I liked about Strengths Finder is that after about 100 or more strategically designed questions, it formulates your five most dominant qualities that apply to you out of about 36 options. Not all of the traits that were selected for me are necessarily represented in my writing. However, a few of them are, and they are all traits that I believe are seen in my voice through my writing. However, sometimes it is hard to see it. I think I can integrate these traits more into my writing by staying more focused on my subjects and not as much “loose” and “free” with my usage of words. I do think my writing reflects a positive tone, though. I also always refer to the readings and give my thoughts on the topics we discuss in class, so I stay true to my disciplined and tenacious personal traits. So therefore, I can merge these two concepts of me being light and disciplined and turn them into my own personal voice. Sounds like a plan to me!
Identifying with a Blogger/Columnist
I’m being honest when I say that I have never actually followed a blog before. Yeah, I have skimmed a few before only after landing on them via Google search, but I have never actually wanted to follow one. However, after skimming a large number of blogs, I landed on one that caught my eye. The Everygirl is the blog that I identify my style of voice with for a few reasons. One of them includes the blog’s casual tone of voice mixed in with a more serious voice when talking about serious topics. My style is similar, I think, save for the lack of experience I have in the blogging area. The casual tone I use, along with this columnist, Lindsey Saletta, allows the readers to feel more at ease and makes the post more lighthearted. Throw in my discussions on readings with my opinions and it brings a more serious style to the table. For example, in one of the columnist’s more recent posts, “Why We Need Women in Politics”, I found myself in awe of the perfect writing style she used in order to convey this powerful message. Coming from a single-sex high school background and the intent to declare Communication Studies and Political Science as my majors, this post was particularly interesting to me and I hope that I can write meaningful posts such as this one in the future.
When asked about a specific experience that helps me define who I am today, I question whether I should talk about something related to writing or possibly something completely unrelated to writing. Because I want to talk about a more personal experience, I am taking the route of the latter (unrelated to writing). I think a special experience that helps define who I am today is my camp counselor experience. As a camp counselor this past summer, I worked tirelessly for three months caring for and being responsible for children, along with working on an activity as well. It was hard work, and I was tired, but I kept going because I knew how important my job was. I was going to be the sole reason if a child would have a good camp experience or not, so I knew my attitude had to be positive and that I had to be “on” all the time. At the same time, however, I needed to be happy and not-so-serious as well. It was a hard balance to manage, but with a lot of support from my fellow counselors and my desire to make a difference in a child’s life, I made it and the experience has shaped who I am today. I believe that the experiences we undergo affect our lives in countless ways; it affects your family life and relationships, your career, your mindset, and even your writing. My camp counselor experience reflects my writing style and voice because it shows that I know when to be serious, and I know when to be “light” and when to not take myself too seriously.
So that about wraps up my voice in writing and elsewhere. I am glad we were given this assignment because I think it will make us more aware of our styles as we are writing our future posts. It is always good to know who we are, and as I mentioned earlier, it is hard to not be aware of all of our traits as we grow as people–mentally and phsyically–and learn more about ourselves. So, I am planning on perfecting my writing style and aspiring to add my own twist to bloggers’ and columnists’ voices that I aspire to be more like.