I have a confession to make: I have lost my voice. It’s here, somewhere, or there somewhere. Maybe it’s next to my car keys I can’t find at the moment, either.
It seems that every time I am sick, I lose my voice, and it takes longer and longer to come back. I think it dropped from a New York sky-scraper complete with a superhero landing. My voice then careened around the corner towards home, only to run into an invisible adamantium wall, shattering its bones into a million pieces and leaving it with a-pubescent-boy-voice-cracking-at-random-and-not-so-occasional-words scar.
The first rule of writing is to write to your audience, and every bit of writing someone does is targeted to a specific audience. Different styles, different nuanced voices are necessary for each kind of writing. I wouldn’t use the same style for both writing to my favorite author (hello, Tom Robbins, thank you for your reply!) and a hard-nosed professor. I wouldn’t use the same style for my novel about a smart-assed, reincarnating cat that I would use for blog content for, say, a church.
Actually, that’s the second rule of writing. The first rule is to just write.
Writers are schizophrenic. I don’t think I’ve ever met a writer who didn’t have a thousand voices in her head, all competing to be heard. Some of these voices are the voice of a character, the conversation between two or more characters, the running description of a scene, our prim-and-proper voice for certain projects, our argumentative voice for others, our ranting-at-the-world voice.
And that’s just the beginning.
In the process of writing about Life 2.0, I’ve discovered I’ve vacillated between competing voices: the sage who knows a very little bit but knows it well and the struggling smart ass who’s figuring out stuff on the fly.
But the process of discovering and developing a writing voice takes, well, writing. Lots and lots of writing. Lots and lots and LOTS of writing. I have written more this year than I have in the previous eight years all combined.
I’m proud of that. But I still haven’t discovered my voice.
But it has come at a price. I haven’t been able to keep up with other bloggers, those people whom I enjoy and admire. (Spoiler alert: the bad guy lives and it’s just an excuse.)
Or meeting with other writers. I haven’t been able to make time to meet with other writers, take part in critique groups, and just be with my kind of people (again with the E word).
Or really delving deeper into creating the kind of website that I want to have. I’ve been learning it little by little, breaking things, fixing things, discovering cool shit, forgetting cool shit (I’m starting to see a pattern here).
Or, you know, working on relationships or going out and doing stuff.
I really don’t know what I’m trying to say. Whatever thought I had was lost while I was being attacked en masse by stupid flying ants that are apparently using the middle of my back–just beyond where my arm can reach–as an open bar with free peanuts.
Maybe I have discovered my voice, and I’ve just been a little hesitant to actually use it.
In any case, I’m still working towards balance, and I really don’t know how to get everything done that I want.
So. That’s where I am, I guess.