When you’ve been blogging for long enough, you tend to create routines. You have little systems in place that you’ve developed over time. It makes the entire blog writing experience less stressful.
I’ve learned so many things in the four years that I’ve been blogging. And I realize I rarely talk about them on here. So today, I want to highlight on my blog writing journey and the lessons I learned along the way.
My Writing Voice Metamorphosis: From Cynical Caterpillar to a Better Butterfly
I was one of those early teens in the internet who is angry at the world 24/7. Shocking, isn’t it? But it’s true.
My username was literally Cynical Kate or something. I know it’s hard to imagine now since my personal brand, and by extension my blog’s brand, is spreading positivity and love. (Create and grow happily, yes?)
But that’s my origin story as a blogger and writer.
Somewhere along the way, I realized how emotionally taxing it is to be angry all the time. My fingers tapping onto the keys could sometimes feel more like slamming doors after doors. And I know there are people who thrive in that energy, but I’ve come to find out I wasn’t one of them. I found that there is, on the other hand, so much joy in writing with a happy vibe.
So I did.
Finding the Right Blog Writing Voice
Writing with the right happy vibe was a journey in itself, though. A sub-plot, if you must. I’ve been that blogger who uses lots of exclamation points and making words suuuper looong. I have used gifs and memes. I’ve abused the capslock and emojis.
And while there are also bloggers who are so natural at this, writing this way didn’t feel normal to me. It felt inauthentic and forced.
I didn’t feel like myself.
It wasn’t until I first stumbled upon the Yes and Yes blog that I found inspiration and clarity. I LOVE the way Sarah writes. It’s like your best friend talking to you and the way she put in humor and stories in her post are clever.
That’s the kind of happy vibe I want. Like your funny and clever best friend talking to you.
That, plus my love for analogies – that would go so far as comparing getting past obstacles to a chicken – and adding pop culture references, is my current writing voice.
So what did I take away from those four years of searching for my writing voice?
1) Read as much as you can
This isn’t just me being a bookworm and promoting the beauty and importance of reading. (Although, I’m all for that!) But seriously. To improve as a writer you have to read.
There’s only so much you know and ideas you can come up on your own. I know this because I myself don’t have lots of mindblowing ideas coming out of my brain everyday like how scrabble relates to not giving up on life. I need outside perspective too.
And when I say read a lot, I’m not pressuring you to read 300-page novels either. You can read an online essay on Longreads, or scroll through an article on Medium. Heck, even reading a comment in one of the Facebook groups you’re in goes a long way.
2) You are an important part of the writing equation
You know how most blogging advice on writing a good blog post centers on what your readers like?
Well, that’s true. But I don’t think it’s the entire truth. What your readers like to get from reading your blog is important, sure. But you also need to consider what you like to write.
Think about it:
If you forced yourself to write something that your readers like but you don’t quite enjoy writing, what do you think would happen? The post will come out unnatural and inauthentic. And your readers will sense this.
Format how you like to format your posts. Make use of lists. If you like long paragraphs, don’t be afraid to use them! One way to be authentic online is through doing what you prefer. It’s honestly more enjoyable to read a blog post that’s so real. I talked more extensively about writing a great blog post on the Blog Buddy Program website, if you want to check it out!
3) Learn how to balance self-acceptance and self-improvement
There’s room for improvement but there’s also lots to love about your writing now. This is something I struggled in my first year blogging.
I always thought my writing sucked. I had the habit of publishing impulsively and then reading back what I already published and finding flaws that I edit right then. And I would spend hours doing this. Looking back, that was such a perfectionist Kate thing to do. But it was also very counterproductive.
I talked about this before:
When you choose perfect over finish, you leave zero room for improvement.
Spending so much time trying to fix your work will end up in you getting stuck on doing only that one thing, for-freakin-ever. I’m all for editing, but you need to give it an end time.
4) Finding your writing voice takes time
It could take months or, in my case, years to find and develop your writing voice.
This isn’t to say that your writing right now is awful — not at all! It just means that you aren’t there yet. You aren’t in that place you wanted to be yet. The way I see it, it’s kinda like how an artist’s skill develops and progresses over time.
In fact, both writers and artists (and all kinds of creatives, really) follow the same creative principle: improvement requires hours and hours of practice. This is why it’s important to show up and write stuff and finish writing said stuff. It’s how you improve as a writer.
Remember: even the masters were once novices.
We all have to start somewhere. And really, the only other way to go is up. So enjoy where you are right now. Relish in the things you are proud of, and be excited for a better you ahead. Because there will be a better you ahead. I know it.
I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
What are some blog writing tips you’ve learned so far in your blogging journey? Share them below!
In another news, November 14th marks the day this smol blog was born. Which means I’ve been around the blogosphere for 4 years. Which is, like, a century in Internet Days and therefore I am a certified virtual crone.
This little corner of the Interwebs that I call home has gone through so many phases — and I’m sure it will continue to do so. But I never expected my blog to become so important to me. Yet in a way, it had a huge part in making me who I am now.
Gosh, I’m getting sentimental.
As a thank you to all you amazing human beings who made blogging an incredibly enjoyable experience, I’m having my 2nd Blog Birthday Giveaway!
Here’s what’s in store for this year’s blog birthday giveaway:
- 1 winner of a $25USD Amazon Gift Card
- 1 winner of a full-color illustration (A5 size, 300 dpi)
- 2 winners of a watercolor portrait with minimal background (A5 size, 300 dpi)
I will be sending all these digitally, though, as I have yet to figure out my country’s mailing system. This giveaway is open internationally and I will be picking out the four winners on December 2, 2018. Good luck!