Okay, tonight I’m going to start with a few statistics. Don’t worry—I won’t be talking about them for long. I hate numbers as much as anyone.
By the time I wrap up this post, I’ll have written 12,000-odd words in 30 days, which averages out at around 400 words a day.
(You can relax now. That’s the end of the number crunching.)
And by writing a page every day for close to a month, I seem to have found my writing voice. I’ve looked at a dozen of my posts, and they all sound like me. (Feel free to tell me otherwise.)
This is a big deal, at least to me. A few years ago my voice was a poor imitation of whoever I was reading at the time. But despite working my way through The Stand, it seems to be pretty consistent this time around.
And I’m reasonably happy with that voice—efficient, but not formal. To me it sounds just like the way I talk, which is what I’ve been aiming for all these years. Hopefully I’ll reach the point where someone can pick up something I’ve done, take one look at it and say, “Yep. That’s definitely Bill Harper’s writing. Got anything else?”
But every so often I wish my writing “sounded” better than the way I speak. I wish I’d done better in all those creative writing classes I’ve done over the years. And today is one of those days.
A friend of mine is a copywriter, and a damn good one. (I think we actually “met” on Twitter through a discussion about some copywriting she was doing.) Her copy is very efficient because that’s what it needs to be, especially when it comes to web writing and that whole SEO thing.
Writing-wise, I thought we were on the same page (pun intended). But after reading one of her blog posts I realised we’re not only on different pages, we’re on different continents.
I won’t quote any of her words here. You’ll have to follow the link and read them yourself. But it’s a beautiful piece, and right now I can only dream of writing anything that comes close.
The good news is I’ve got plenty of blog posts in front of me. And a person’s voice can change over time, can’t it?