I’ve become increasingly convinced that writing in my own voice is important. But I’ve been writing almost as long as I’ve been talking, and frankly, I write a lot better than I speak. Chalk it up to ADD, lack of confidence, or daydreaming, but my speech meanders even more than my posts.
Even so, I think there’s a need to achieve synthesis. (And yes, I would actually say a sentence like that out loud.)
One of the things I’ve noticed recently is how much more serious my writing is than my speaking. People who know me personally know that I’m passionate – opinionated, sometimes angry, and often funny. I make a lot of jokes. I also swear a lot. More than I should.
It could be related to the fact that I’ve written for Catholic or politically conservative audiences for so long, but I tend to clean up my speech a good bit when I type it out. Gone are the damned swear words, the wit, the excessively controversial or risqué statements. I very rarely type out the words, “That’s what SHE said!” And I never make jokes about enemas.
Perhaps this is aspirational. I want to be a smarter, more mature guy than I am in real life. Maybe it’s stylistic – we all learn to write with a good bit more formality than we speak, and if we read a lot, this style is picked up through imitation. Either way, I think that my real self and my written persona need to talk about a merger. I think the real me could do with an image upgrade, and the written me could stand to loosen up a bit. I need to stop writing for what I think my audiences expect, and write what I want to talk about with all the enthusiasm I’m capable of. Then, I think it’s safe to assume, whatever I’m saying will come out better.
And brevity ain’t so bad either.
Steve Skojec is a storyteller, writer, blogger, photographer, designer, and sci-fi fan. He is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. He lives in Arizona with his wife Jamie and six of their seven children.