I’ve been blogging for a couple of years now and have slowly settled into the style and pattern of blogging that you see here today. Most posts are several paragraphs, they reflect what I’m doing and reading, and they rarely are about topics that are contentious or highly popular. I write to share, I write to help cement my own ideas on a topic, and less often just to record something.
Of course, it’s how I do it that makes it me!
I’m comfortable with that style now, though I hope and plan that it will continue to evolve. But is that enough? How can you or I stretch our skills, learn to write differently (which isn’t the same as better!)?
I’ve had two opportunities over the past year to do some different writing. The first was that in 2009 I wrote the editorial for the PASS Connector. My goal there was to speak as me, yet speak on and about the organization. It was hard for a couple reasons. One was that I was used to writing as me, about me. Another was that I didn’t always have a deep view of everything that was happening within PASS. It was definitely more work, because I had to write using a different voice and that voice didn’t come naturally, though by the end of the year it was going faster.
More recently my friend Steve Jones has invited me to write a guest editorial for SSC once or twice a month. That’s yet a different audience, and Steve has built a solid pattern of interacting with the SSC audience that encourages reader response. It’s been a struggle to find a way to write something that will resonate with the audience, yet not just be a poor copy of Steve. Let me say that a different way – think of any local newscaster you watch. Now imagine stepping in to take their place. Same job, so how do you do it differently – as you – yet still just do the job of delivering the news?
I’m still in mid learning curve, not sure what the end looks like. Do I ultimately just write everything “as me” and quit worrying about it, or will I get better at adapting to writing with different voices?
This is one of those posts where I’m trying to cement my own ideas!