My first experiment was an analytical research paper on how displays of emotions in public are viewed by society. I was very insistent on keeping the paper professional and academic: in other words, my personal beliefs would not be injected, and I would not use the word “I.” Therefore, I would characterize the tone of this experiment as formal, and perhaps even a little distant and unyielding.
For my second experiment, I wrote a personal narrative about an experience I had about being uncomfortable with my emotions in a public space. My natural tone when I write is fairly informal, so I truly let that loose in this experiment (in my first draft, I used a lot of swear words). In the nature of the topic (emotionality), this experiment’s tone was vulnerable and honest. I would argue that you have to be this way when writing personal narratives, and I think my tone fit right along with that.
Finally, for my third experiment, I created a blog with the intention that its “users/readers” could use it as a platform to read about others experiences with translating emotions typically classified as private into a public sphere and, in turn, would share their own experiences. With that idea of sharing and openness in mind, I tried to make the Wix website I created very calming and welcoming. I included darker colors (greys and blues) with images to intersperse the long blocks of texts. The tone of this experiment is welcoming, sentimental – maybe even to the point of it being too much.
Looking for a common thread in this, ultimately, my experiments boil down to being honest with the reader. This may establish trust, though the writer would need a different strategy to establish authority. When writing about emotions, as I previously mentioned, you cannot really help but be honest because readers could tell if you are not – every reader is a human and has emotions; it is easy to spot disingenuity.