As chance would have it, (or maybe serendipity), I ran into a young lady some time ago, at a creative function, who was an aspiring author. We hit it off right away.
In the hopes that we might collaborate on future creative projects, we exchanged information.
Excited to learn more about her background and her future events, I looked up her site to check her out, days later. What I found was impressive.
She was obviously educated, accomplished, talented, and eager to build a platform and make a difference. There was just one problem.
Her "About Me" page came across more like she was applying for a prestigious position, as opposed to connecting with readers and having an online "conversation."
She used lofty, 100 dollar words, when $5.00 words would have sufficed.
Don't get me wrong; I do believe that the words she chose to express herself on her profile were no doubt a part of her everyday vocabulary, given her credentials. Yet the language was cold and impersonal.
Not at all like the friendly and engaging woman I encountered upon meeting her.
But, it's a mistake that many bloggers and aspiring authors make.
Which begs the question...
Should you write the way you speak?
The answer is yes. And no.
Allow me to elaborate here...
In my professional capacity, I have had the opportunity to pen pieces for an array of different publications and projects. From academic articles, to blog posts, to columns and social commentary, to reviews.
My language, tone, and approach are dictated by related factors. As should yours.
Accordingly, here are some things you'll need to consider in deciding how to best use your "writer's voice":
- Informal or formal project?
Word up! But, when I'm writing for a corporate client or an article for academia, I am more "poised" and conventional in what I present. You should be too.
- Who is your audience?
- What is your purpose?
- What's your communication style?
A case in point would be Dr. Phil. I love his colorful expressions: "That dog ain't gon hunt." And his frequent use of the words "y'all" and "ole boy." He comes off as someone who knows his stuff without being "stuffy."
I find that in a world with far too many imposters and fakes, being authentic has real value. Just make sure it's appropriate and applicable. Meaning, just because you may use four-letter words around friends, doesn't mean that you should adopt this philosophy for your blog. Keep it real, but be realistic.
What's your take on this topic, so to