We were asked to address whether or not our first take on the “Why I Write” draft was true to our perception of what our voice is.
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Idk–maybe, dude?
I always feel a little bit like that fish in the asthma commercials that were popular in like 2009 when asked to stake a claim regarding my voice. Flipping and flopping around, in obvious discomfort, but safely returned to the bowl because PETA would have a field day otherwise. I’m obviously in discomfort but ultimately I know that the harm that will befall me when I fail to answer is only superficial.
I’d like to say this initial gut description of what compels me to write is fitting with the “witty” voice I’ve built over a lifetime of pen stroke chatter. I try to say that about everything I do though, even the really boring business reports I have to write that are way too long and way to devoid of mistake, humor, personality and warmth in general. Ya know, business-y stuff. But even with that, I try to bring in me in the ways I structure sentences and phrase things. My formatting and structure also help me build a cohesive professional paper me. It’s the equivalent of wearing a blazer. Underneath is still the girl that probably forgot to put on deodorant and is trying to cover up her doughy palms. Me just dressed up.
That’s how I feel about my writing voice for the most part. That no matter what I do, someone will inevitably be able to tell it was me who wrote it–assuming that they’ve read my work before that is. Because what I’ve found is that my writing voice, though relatively constant, is unrecognizable unless it’s been read by someone before. People are shocked it’s mine. Not sure what that says about me as a in-real-life person (actually I do and it’s that I’m boring), but if it means that I put on a voice, then that’s something I’ve come to terms with.
I guess the real question though, and one I’ve never been able to answer truthfully, is which one is it? Which one do I put on? The one I write with or the one I talk with everyday?