How is your writing voice like you? How does your writing voice differ from you?
On the second day of this NaBloPoMo project, I feel like a student who doesn’t know where to start on a Humanities journal prompt. I’m not used to such open-ended prompts for which I don’t have a specific answer in mind. However, I miss Humanities and writing for the sake of writing. I even miss writing in notebooks, when our choices were Mead vs. Five Star rather than Evernote vs. OneNote. I still remember fondly an assignment where we were to write as if we were Thoreau at Walden Pond. I took a cK One notebook (free gift with purchase) with me to my favorite rock in Bluemont Park and sat on it to write. I miss that solitude and the freedom of voice that came with knowing that no one else would ever see those pages except Mrs. O’Brien.
When I started this blog to chronicle my adventures with cooking back in January 2012, I unconsciously came in with the mindset of chronicling rather than free-writing. Every post had an associated recipe or restaurant review, and there weren’t any freely wandering thoughts about the types of recipes that I’d ended up liking more than others or the difficulties I’d faced in time management of cooking. When I started to write more about lessons, I was still in the “post recipe” rather than “reflect at length” mindset.
It’s much easier to pick a recipe or a lesson than to go metacognitive. I’ve thought more about quinoa or probability than I have about writing. Those specific, compartmentalized posts lend themselves more to the mode of a chronicler vs. that of a writer. I chronicle food, fitness, teaching, and knitting, but many of the thoughts that pop into my head about these things often don’t make it past the “publish” button. Perhaps this is a function of my recent adoption of Instagram or Twitter, which provide snapshots and pithy comments. Call it Instagrammar…the truncation that reduces one’s reflection to a comment on the latest snapshot.
My writing voice is hidden somewhere among Lo-Fi filtered meals, exclamations about Scandal, and retweets of education articles. It feels disconnected from the random snarky comments, sarcasm, or compliments that pour out of my mouth on a daily basis. However, my writing voice is starting to emerge from its hiding place behind squiggles of sriracha sauce and 140-character comments to the #MtBoS (math twitter blogosphere). Like a singing voice rusty from non-practice or legs that have experienced sitting on a couch more than the churning strides of a track workout, it is still crackling and adjusting as it gets stronger.