My Blog Voice isn't my Writing Voice

Katherine Longshore 6 Tuesday, March 27, 2012
A few weeks ago, someone (and I can't remember who) asked on Twitter a question that basically went like this: Should a person read (or not read) a book based on the author's blog?  To which I wanted to shout, "Heck, no!"

Because I think my writing voice is vastly different from my blogging voice.  Though I try to be lively (and even a little goofy) at times in my blog posts, I still think I come across as quite formal, maybe a little dated (really, who says "delightful" anymore?) and my ultimate concern is that I'm boring the pants off of the readers.  It's just the way I blog.

I hope that my writing voice is different.  I believe it is because it is a character speaking through me.  I am not my characters and my characters are not me.  And though I'm sure my own writing voice comes through no matter which character narrates my novel, I think there is less of the formal, journalistic, "I'm writing an essay about X" feel to my fiction.

I hope that my passion for history and joy in writing comes across in my blog posts.  And I would be delighted (there it is again!) if this makes blog followers want to read my novel.  But for me, blogging uses a different writing muscle -- one that is more meditative and more exposed.  My journalism background kicks in and I treat the subject cerebrally.  But blog thoughts can also go out into the world immediately, so it's like talking at a party.  What's said is said.  Sometimes, I can go in and alter something after it's published, but I need to be aware of what I'm saying before I say it.  Because words and thoughts last in the interwebs.  When I blog, I'm "on".

When I write, I get lost in character and setting, in plot and thoughts and emotions.  I can spend ages poring over a single word.  It's liberating and engrossing and I don't feel at all exposed until the draft goes to my editor.  It's a completely different experience.

I like blogging.  I love the interaction with readers.  I love to hear what you think about what I say, your opinions on a topic.  I love the conversation aspect.  But by that definition, it's more of an extroverted activity.

I love writing.  Sure, I despair sucky first drafts and problematic revisions.  But it's all part of the process.  Like life -- you take the bad with the good.  And appreciate the experience.  I love that words matter -- each and every one.  I love the subtle changes and pretty turns of phrase.  I love my characters.  All of that comes from my introverted self, the one that treasures the time I spend in my own head.

I enjoy the balance.  Writing and blogging.  Because writing can be lonely, I like the connection with other writers and readers I get from blogging.  But an author's blog is not like his books.  Equally enjoyable, but a vastly different voice.


This is an intriguing topic (intriguing? dated as delightful?).

I struggle with this also, primarily because I write in first person as teen characters but I blog as an adult. Finding a space in between where I might draw in readers seems difficult.

Right now, I'm satisfied with being part of the YA writing community through my blog, but I'm wondering if I'll need to change things up more after I'm published.

I love the word "intriguing" Jennifer! I write first person YA, too, and yet I feel my blogging voice doesn't reflect that. Though I agree, I love to be a part of the larger YA community through the blog. As Heather (BURIED IN BOOKS) commented on Donna's post yesterday, blogging makes us so much more approachable, and I love that feeling of immediacy - of conversation - with all of you.

1) Your blog posts do not bore the pants off of us. Quite the opposite, in fact.

2) The joy you feel for writing, and your passion for history, definitely come through.

3) Reading your blog posts is delightful! (I HAD to use that word.)

Oh heavens, I agree with this. Stumbled upon your blog and have enjoyed reading so I guess that is a good thing? When I write my blog posts I do so primarily for fun, for me. My blog is more about Helen and my own personality and my likes such as music and pop culture.

A book is an entirely different thing. I certainly hope that my blog is found to be entertaining now and informative once I'm published in the Young Adult Genre. Although I think a bit of my humor and the irony of life finds ends up in my work as well.

Enjoy your blog. :)

Thank you, Beth. As always you say just the right thing.

And Helen, I'm so glad you stumbled upon us! And I'm definitely going to take your advice and enjoy the blog.

If it helps, I struggle a lot with how my blog voice comes off to people who weren't in my old critique group, my (biological) family is not tuned into the net, so they don't count in this context.

I often fear I come off like a whiny brat who rants too much on his blog, but it's through my own network of supportive writers and my own stubbornness to keeps me in the blogosphere.

I had a hard month yet again, but spring is here, and that helps a little.

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