This month I wrote a book review for Read it Now or Else. Writing the review, and reading the other ones on the site made me think about my own writing style. As part of my job I’m constantly writing reports that refer to local and government policy in order to justify the decisions I make.
These reports are cold clinical creatures that deal in facts only. They are not a true reflection of my personality, but comparing my first review draft to that of the other contributors mine seemed a little bit formal and emotionless. I don’t think I captured any of the enthusiasm I had for the story, or the characters but was very snooty and aloof in word choice and style – in fact I think I’m doing it now with this blog post. I’m afraid that I write so much as part of my job that this is creeping in to my other non-fiction writing and I’m becoming an automaton.
The fiction itself appears to be safe, but then when I’m writing fiction I’m being someone else. Even in third person I like to make the character’s personality a feature of the prose.
Do my characters have more personality than me? And is that actually a bad thing?
What really made me pause though was that I’ve always believed words were a way to get to the heart of things. I’ve never thought that they could be barriers before. Misleading and subversive, yes, but never huge cold gates that simply said ‘don’t go there’. If I keep writing this way is it possible that people would be closed out? Or does it really depend on the sort of person I want to attract?
That’s how I find myself on the latest step of the ‘oh my god who am I what am I doing what are my blogging goals?’ anxiety. If the purpose of a blog is to showcase the author’s personality then argh!
Still, on my last post where I had a bit of a melt down the comments were encouraging (an IWSG post, of course!). The best thing to do is keep writing blog posts, and keep experimenting. That’s the only way I’m really going to find out what works, after all.
As always thank you to Alex J. Cavanaugh for giving me the chance to vent. And thank you to all the other participants. Despite not doing as well as I’d hoped visiting other people last month I still discovered some amazing blogs. I’m going to put the extra effort in this month too and find some more.