Finding your sense of “self” is an important development for both you and your blog. What do I mean by this? Well, if you’ve ever visited a newly developed blog, you may have noticed that there isn’t a whole lot of consistency in the topics blogged about nor do the articles have a similar feel to them.
I can say, from experience, that finding coherent and cohesive topics to write about in the beginning can be intimidating, overwhelming, and sometimes just downright frustrating. Looking back to when I first started out blogging, (and that was only a few months ago, mind you) I can already see changes in the quality of my work, the tone of my postings, and the overall sense of “self” that I’ve developed on my blog. That being said, let’s discuss how to develop this sense of self.
When blogging, it’s important that you not only describe your story with passion, but be concise and to the point! No one wants to read a bunch of “filler” words. The more direct you can be without having fragmented thoughts, the more your reader will take away from the article. I credit my high school English teacher for this tip; she used to take a red pen to many of the words within my essay to make a point that those were the “fluff” words, or the unnecessary words. Much to my surprise, she was right. I could write without using the word “the” “and” or” as often; good work is written concisely.
Since I’ve started blogging, I have come across many good resources for developing writing skills. For example, my friend George, over at Tumblemoose Productions has great tips everyday on perfecting the art of writing. One of my favorite posts by George is Write like You’re Dying. It explains the importance of writing with passion, making every word count. Writing with passion is something that is extremely important in finding your sense of self. If you’re interested in becoming a better writer and honing your skills, I’d definitely suggest following his blog!
So what about finding your voice? It’s writing, not speech, right? Well, voice is a figurative term for the way in which you express your thoughts and feelings in your writing. As I mentioned earlier, a new writer (or blogger as the case may be) most likely does not have a well developed voice. However, as time goes on and the writer gets more experience, a “voice” will emerge, making the writers work more consistent and cohesive.
Additionally, I believe that you can only write and find your voice if you truly love and are invested in the topic you are writing about. Anyone can call themselves as a writer, but actually writing full time takes a serious amount of commitment time-wise, financially and even emotionally.
Lastly, it’s very important to read, read, read! The more you read, the more informed you are, the more well-rounded your vocabulary becomes, and again the better your writing becomes! Now you don’t have to read novels. Read the headline stories of a national newspaper, read your favorite magazine while on the subway to work, read the wall street journal; I don’t care what you read, just make sure that you spend time daily READING.
How do you know when you’ve finally developed your “voice” does your blog have a sense of “self”? Well, that’s a tough question. Ideally, you keep learning and growing, and your blog does as well. However, if you’ve been writing for years and years, the growth you may experience may be marginal in comparison to those just starting out writing. It’s my belief that the minute you start growing and learning, no matter how small, becomes the point in time that you will be ready to move on to bigger and better things; thus starting the chain of learning all over again.
How have you developed your writing skills over time? What’s the biggest tip you can give us for becoming a better writer? If you’re a blogger, do you also consider yourself a writer?
If you’d like to hear some more great tips on discovering your writers voice, check out this great article, also writen by George at Tumblemoose Productions!