Finding My Voice: Encouraging Audience Engagement
I’ve done a lot of writing over the years. As I look back at the current content of my blog, I realize that my tone has been pretty formal and impersonal. And I realize that this writing style doesn’t do a lot to foster audience engagement. As I think about this, I also am left thinking about this question: Why do I write?
Motivation: Self Expression or Community Building?
I’ve put a lot of my thoughts and ideas out there over the years. As I think back to writings from my past, I realize that I’ve gone through periods in my writing where it was very personal, and other times where my writing was totally impersonal.
There were times in my life where I poured my heart and soul into my writing. Honestly, the only possible outcome of some of those times was heartbreak. But it was always something that I had to get out.
I have also written a lot that honestly feels like a super advanced AI could have written it. Writing without feelings or emotions, that I basically tried to take myself out of the equation on. And as I look at those, I realize that there was no real self expression there. Sure, I was writing about something that interested me, but the writing was about as engaging as Switzerland during wartime.
Thinking about this, I realize that my most fulfilling writing has been when I’ve just laid it all out. And that this thing isn’t a matter of self expression versus building an online community, but rather that the two are inclusive and not mutually exclusive.
Rediscovering My Voice – Writer’s Laryngitis
Thinking back on what I shall affectionately refer to as my lost writings, a lot of what I wrote that I bared my heart open in was poetry. But, I don’t really see that as my voice now, at least not in the way it was when I was young and naive.
Could it someday find a way back into my repertoire? Sure, anything is possible. Will it hold the place of dominance it held years ago? It most likely will not. When it was my primary voice, I was a different version of me, with different circumstances in my life than exist now. The part of me that was inspired to write poetry was an often heartbroken and lonely version of myself. That version of myself really only knew how to express himself in verse. And there is nothing wrong with that. All forms of self expression are valid.
So, what voice do I use now? At this point, I have to listen to any of them that seek to find their way out of me. My blog is but one of a couple of projects that I have on-going right now. I have one other that is well underway, but not enough underway to fully reveal yet. I also have a couple that right now are just germs of ideas, that need time to marinate and fully develop before I can really do anything with them. As I launch these projects, I will tie in to them from here.
My biggest concern now is just making sure that the voice that is heard is distinctly mine, and not some sort of robotic voice with no opinion.
Looking Forward… (As Well as Backward…)
Looking to the future of my writing, I want to get a lot more personal, and make sure that I have fully injected myself into my writing.
What does this mean for the current content on my blog? For starters, nothing is going away. From this point forward, all posts that are up currently will be available. Will some of them get altered? Probably, if an opportunity for updating some of them presents itself.
However, I don’t want to update old work at the expense of new material. I want to try to get on a strict schedule of once a week blog posts. And I don’t want to use an update on an old post as an out for a weekly post. So I’m not quite sure how to handle updating that handful of old posts yet and publicizing updates to them.
The Bow On Top
To wrap everything up, you will start to see a more personal tone in my future posts. I no longer want to be Uatu, just watching everything going on in the world but forbidden from acting. I want my writings to be my voice, whether or not anyone hears or acknowledges it.
If you have any ideas, comments, suggestions, or just random thoughts that you would like to share, please leave them in the comment section below.
Teaser: Next time, I’m planning on exploring my thoughts on how our inner beauty defines us.