Authorial Voice and Blogging
When writing fiction, exercising your authorial voice is a tricky thing to get right. Rough drafts can sometimes end up cowed by its shadow or limp due to its hesitance. Being able to strike a balance is essential in order to allow a story to unfurl organically. Yet, no matter how hard or easy you may find it to begin with, it will always be there. You are writing a story, after all, and it’s rather difficult to tell a tale without a voice driving the narrative forward in some form.
Blogging, on the other hand, is a rather different beast. The possibilities presented by a blog allow for significant deviation from the normal mode of writing. Yes, you can write stories and relay information from your own perspective – you’ve probably noticed that (when I do write) I tend to follow this path. But there are plenty of other ways to approach a blog.
You can address your readership directly and encourage interaction and discussion to gain a wide range of, hopefully, constructive criticism to inform how you to decide to refine particular projects. You can display your work and just be happy that it’s out there for people to see, without ever checking for comments. You can even create a community blog and involve your readership in the creation of content. You can use this approach no matter whether your blog covers fiction writing, non-fiction, or news.
There are virtually limitless possibilities regarding what you can use a blog for and how you can present it. But still, the most prevalent type of blogs are those where news, in all its forms, is regurgitated with no distinct voice behind it. I have never understood the purpose of this last type.
It doesn’t particularly matter whether you are writing about international events or this week’s comic releases. Good reporting, or journalism of any kind, needs an authorial voice just as much as any work of fiction. Yet, there are countless blogs out there that are quite happy to spew up a vague rewording of a press release or news report without ever attempting to comment on the story they display.
I am certainly no great authority on blogging, but the basic purpose of a blog is to allow you to connect with other people, even fleetingly. If you have a personal blog it should be there to represent your opinion, your outlook on the world. If you would rather fill that space with words cribbed from other sources and never comment on a single thing you may as well print out those original articles and throw them blithely into the streets. Without your voice present to explain why the articles you are re-hashing are important in some regard, personal or political, your blog is meaningless.
Blogging is accessible to almost anyone, but it is a medium driven by personal opinion and expression. I learned a long time ago* that not everyone has something to say. I just wish they would realise it so that those that do can be heard.
* In a childhood far, far (OK, not that far) away