You’re funny, quirky, bubbly, energetic, snarky, intellectual, witty, and unique. And more.
You are a unique snowflake.
So, how do you translate this into your writing? How can your blog readers know you the same way your friends and family know you? How can you “write like you talk” or in a way that introduces people to your charm?
In my recent Fairy Blogmother Resource Development Survey, one of the survey respondents said:
The hardest part [about blogging] is translating who I am into my writing. I have a fun and energetic personality and I really want that to shine through to my readers.
So, how do we do that? Below are a few things that I’ve found work for me, but if you’ve got more to add, jump in the comments at the bottom.
Talk it out.
Smartphone users, your phone has a voice recorder on it. Use it! If you don’t have a smartphone, I’m pretty sure your computer has a built-in audio recorder. I used to record myself talking while I was driving and could work out ideas I had or recap conversations I’d had earlier that day, and these things became the rough drafts for blog posts later. By talking it out first the same way you’d tell the story to your best friend, you’re capturing the language, slang, and tone you use and can use that when you develop the story for your blog.
Once you have it recorded, play it back and make notes. You don’t have to go so far as to transcribe the whole thing word for word (unless that’s most helpful!), but get a sense of how you told a story, rather than the order that things happened. We tell stories to ourselves and our friends all the time. Capture this and use this in your writing.
Her are a few other resources for recording audio: QuickTime Player (free), AudioNote (for Mac, $2.99), Sound Recorder (for PC).
Write for no audience.
One of the best ways to write without worrying about how other people will read it, is to write as if no one is going to read it. I don’t mean opening up a blog draft and pretending that your writing is going to stay in a draft folder for ever. I mean writing somewhere that’s not even Internet-related and may or may not ever get published. Use TextEdit, Evernote, 750words (ok, so that’s on the Internet), or your journal. Just write, tell a story, and throw grammar and spelling to the wind.
Proofread later, edit later, worry about grammar and spelling later. Just get the story out, and once you’ve done that you can edit for length, organization, and spelling.
Write your passions.
This one’s kind of a given, but it deserves a mention. When you write about what you love, what gets you up in the morning, and what you don’t shut up about in your day-to-day life, it translates. When Nicole blogs about running, I can hear the passion in her voice. When Amy so openly shares the victories and challenges of a complete lifestyle and health overhaul, I feel like we just had a conversation about it with her. Sharing the things closest to us and most important in our current lives at that moment translates into your readers feeling your voice come through.
What you’re passionate about will differ from what I am and what other bloggers are wildly in love with. Embrace this. I know we’ve got a blogger in the Brandating network who is passionate about dolls, dressing them, and staging photo shoots with them. That’s not my bag, but she’s got a great readership of people who are also interested in what she’s sharing. She writes what she loves and it shows.
A few years ago at a SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas, John Gruber and Merlin Mann held a great talk called Obsession Times Voice [link to podcast, and totally worth a listen!]. It’s been awhile since I’ve listened to this in its entirety, but I remember one of them saying that if it’s pencils you are passionate about, blog about pencils. We’ll feel it, believe you, trust you, and those of us who share your obsession will hang on to your every word.
Our personalities can shine through the black and white flatness of a blog page when the voice behind those words is authentically passionate.
So, that’s what works for me! What works for you?