the problem of voice

My friend Duffy said to me, “I was reading your blog on the bus and a funny thing happend. I knew it was you. But I realized it didn’t sound like you.”

What did it sound like? According to Duffy, like my thoughts were hijacked by Marcia Brady. ugh.

After asking if I hated him (no), and then buying me a beer, he agreed that voice, when it comes to blogging, is kind of a hard thing to get right. The thing is, you want to seem approachable–likeable–not literary. (At this point, if I were grading this blog entry, I would say to my student “by ‘you,’ don’t you mean ‘I’?”)

But I should know–because I tell my students this–that voice evolves over time. That the attempt to sound like something–like, say, a blogger–wears itself out, and then you just sound like yourself. I spent a year of grad school trying to sound like Joan Didion, but instead of sharp and insightful, my voice sounded affectedly jaded, which might be the opposite of my natural voice.

So now I’m aiming for Jan. She was my favorite Brady anyway.

(the fourth Brady sister)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements