As a writer, I sometimes feel like I have multiple personalities: my style is so varied that I sometimes don’t recognize my own writing. I write with four basic voices:
Journaling. Intended for my eyes only (and sometimes, my husband’s). I write like I speak, and it’s sloppy and handwritten and fast… and random as all get-out.
Blogging / “Silly writing.” Ta-da! Here’s what that voice sounds like: sometimes serious, but mostly not; sometimes passionate, theological, and motivational; mostly random, but in a focused, topical sort of way. See also, my phone is dying and I apologize for its schizophrenic keyboard and the typos that got away.
Fiction. My fictional writing style is the most different from the rest: often abrasive, dark, and rude; occasionally inappropriate for young children. I think my fiction is so dark because I like a good redemption story… and, apparently, running my characters through the mud to get them there.
Academic / “Serious writing.” I write a lot for my ministry and for the church bulletin; I have also written posted my very first contributor piece for a cooperative blog I’ve begun with some friends from college called From Padua Hall. I’m quite proud of it, so if you want to read it, here’s your link.
I told my husband that I was posting a “serious piece” to my cooperative blog with my friends, and that he should read it, and how I was planning on writing another, less serious piece for my own blog later today.
His response was clever, and got me thinking. He said something to this effect:
Why are you writing your serious stuff for your friend’s blog, and your crazy stuff on your own? Now the world thinks you’re crazy. You should write your serious stuff for your own blog, and save your crazy stuff for your friend’s blog– because they already know you’re crazy!
For real. And I didn’t have a response for him. These are ALL my voices… I don’t have a preference for one over another. They are all a part of who I am.
But the good news is that I’ve been practicing all of my writing styles over the past few weeks. My output has at least tripled, and it feels good to be intentionally creative again! Here’s how I’m doing on my ROW80 goals so far this week:
OneOne to three substantial blog post per week. I was going to write some post above this one, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what in the world I wanted to write about!!Never mind, I remembered! 😉 This is my one substantial post.
- Drawing. Three drawings, posted, per week. One down: a sketch of my main character, Nikita. I drew a few other doodles, but none were blog-worthy.
- Writing. Share my World Youth Day experience through a series of themed essays: 2 per week. One down, though it’s kind of cheating, because I wrote it for From Padua Hall. So… we’re working on it.
- Resting. Taking a day off per week and not getting hung up on things like stats and publicity. Turns out Tuesday was my rest day. I drew some sketches, but never bothered to post them. Went on a run and spent time with my husband. A good day!
- Complete my most recent novel draft.
- Write detailed character bios for my most important characters. Renamed two of my main characters and wrote semi-detailed biographies of them. I also went on Pinterest and pinned a lot of character photos and settings ideas. I printed some of them out and am going to hang them above my desk as inspiration.
- Write a detailed, functional outline of the plot. Wow, actually, yes! Not as detailed as I like, but I have the full book mapped with bullet points and a cohesive plotline. I’m not going the original direction I intended, but this way makes for a better story, methinks.
On the topic of writing styles: what voice(s) do you use, and where do you use them?
Happy writing, everyone!