Finding My Voice

Sometimes I like to imagine that I am using my old Smith-Corona typewriter to compose these posts. Even though it has been years since I last used I can still hear the clickety-clack of the keys as I type and the sound of the ding at the end of the line. If you could see my face I suppose that it would have a sort of bemused look upon it. That is because I know that many of you have never used a typewriter and I expect a bunch haven’t seen one either.

Lately I have had more than a few conversations with bloggers and writers about our writing style and how long it takes to truly find our voice. I often point to this  post as being the point at which I found mine. But I  suppose that I should probably include this one too. They really are sort of a package deal.

And though I look back at those early days and cringe at some of the garbage I produced I smile too. I smile because I see the evidence of the man who I once was preparing for the man to come. I see this growing recognition and realization that writing was special and important to me. I see myself beginning to search for the best ways to share my thoughts and express myself.

But I should add that finding our voice isn’t indicative of a mature voice. I think that is something that develops over time and is part of the evolution of a blog. To me that is important because I see evolution as being part of growth and that is something that I want. I want to continue to learn and to grow as a person. It is something that I consistently ask of my children and consequently something that I must demand of myself.

Just for the heck of it I am going to dig through the archives and share some old posts. This is really more of an exercise for me than reading for you. It is an opportunity that I take periodically to look back at what I have written and evaluate it.

That should be a decent amount to start with. This isn’t a scientific process but it will serve for my purposes. I am curious to tear into these and see if I love or hate them. It should be interesting to look at them and try to determine if they show what I expect or if it will be different. Ultimately I see this as a process that should help strengthen my writing now and there are many benefits that are associated with that.

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  1. TheJackB June 29, 2011 at 8:45 am

    @MSchechter That post was awesome, truly special. That clackity noise he wrote about- I get that. It makes sense to me.

    When I was ever so much younger and dumber I thought that the comments about growing every day were silly- but not anymore. If we are not learning what are we doing with our time.

    Thanks for coming by to visit, I am going back to that post and read the Clackity words again. I feel an idea brewing inside.

  2. MSchechter June 29, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Really enjoyed the post and this is a subject I tend to love. I’m a big believer that all of us (read: especially me) are messes that are getting a little better every day (if we bother to give a shit and try). Seems like you come from the same school of thought. Love the idea that you have to find your voice before it can mature, well played there! BTW, have you ever read Merlin Mann’s The Clackity Noise? Think you’ll love it!

  3. TheJackB June 26, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    @bdorman264 I am always amazed by how much can happen in a relatively short time. When I look back at that post it is a snapshot in time. I remember a lot of my thoughts then and some of it is still the same, but there are some changes that come from what has happened since then.

  4. TheJackB June 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    @Leon Hi Leon. I know the name of the book, “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” but have never read it. It is on my list but hasn’t made it to the top of the pile yet.

    I have a two pronged approach towards blogging. 1) I write for myself because this is a passion and a place for me to vent about life.

    2) I use it for networking to gain new freelance work and to drive forward the dream of becoming a full time blogger and novelist.

    So Gunning’s words are quite meaningful and significant to me as is your comments about finding their ears. Solid advice and significant.

  5. bdorman264 June 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    @TheJackB I liked ‘what you would do for money’; that was done in ’04……………..

  6. TheJackB June 26, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    @Billy_Delaney Hi Billy. I am a big fan of the process because I think that offers quite an education or maybe that is because I like the sound of my own voice. Hmm…that doesn’t sound very nice now does it. 😉

    Seriously, I do think that there are significant benefits in the experience.

  7. TheJackB June 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    @bdorman264 Hi Bill. i remember the excitement in my house when my dad got an electric typewriter- it was a big deal. Especially when I think about the tape it used to wipe out errors, white out went the way of the Dodo bird.

    Some of the old posts are truly awful, but when I am not cringing I kind of enjoy them.

  8. Leon June 26, 2011 at 11:21 am

    G’Day Jack,

    As ateenager, I had an ancient portable. I can’t remember the brand. But it clicketty-clacked in a most reassuring way. My really big moment in writing came in 1972. My boss gave me a copy of the 1962 edition of “The Technique of Clear Writing” by Robert Gunning.

    It was written primarily for journalists and magazine writers. But it made be realize that writing is really about readers. Later, much later, I realized that words were really vehicles for meaning and that grammar was the lubricant for the wheels. Have you read “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” by Lynn Truss?

    Our mutual mate Mark Twain never won a Nobel Prize for literature. And many of Charles Dickens’ works appeared first as serials in magazines. Both of them knew about the importance of readers.

    As Gunnning said, “write to express, not to impress.”

    Frankly, I’ve never been concerned about “finding my voice.” I’m a damn sight more concerned about finding their ears. I’ll take F. Scott Fitzgerald over Tolstoy any day.

    That’s enough from your Curmudgeon From Down Unda for one day.



  9. Billy_Delaney June 26, 2011 at 4:36 am

    Finding my own right now JackB and will watch your blog more often to see and hear how your voice talks 🙂

  10. bdorman264 June 26, 2011 at 4:21 am

    That will be an interesting process as I will have to dig through some to see if I recognize you.

    My dad used to type letters and I certainly remember the ‘ding’. When the IBM Selectric came along, that was pretty high tech, huh?

    Good to see you this weekend and hope all has been well.

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