Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Voice

A few weeks back, someone I consider a good friend, although we see each other too rarely, asked me about my "blog voice." She mentioned a personal struggle with blogging because of the issue of voice. I do not think I had an adequate answer at the time, and the conversation has lingered behind the scenes ever since.

Voice is a troubling construct for me. While I do think I made great strides in establishing a poetic voice over the last seven years or so (wow, that took a really long time!!), I also believe the voice within my poetry is still at the adolescent stage. There are still remnants of the voices of my mentors, echoes of those poets whose work I read obsessively. I wonder if they will ever truly be silent?

When teaching "voice" in my creative writing class, I'm sometimes at a loss, especially because many of the students are so new to writing that they haven't even learned the building blocks yet. I try to point out examples of particular authors and their choice of diction, syntax, formal elements, recurring themes/images, etc. and show how they build a voice, but it's murky waters at best.

As for a blog voice, I hadn't really thought about it much until this conversation occurred. As I told my friend that night, my only conscious decision was that the blog would be about my writing life, rather than about my personal life. Whatever voice I am now developing is a result of that choice for sure. The blog also reflects that voice I hear in my head when I'm thinking about the writing world, a version of my physical voice but muted, ghostly.

I was nervous about entering the blogging world, mostly because it's hard to erase something from the internet. I do not want to embarrass myself or others; however, to combat this, I approach this blog as a place of exploration and connection, rather than as a place to pronounce anything of import. I hope it is received as such.

1 comment:

Megan Chapman said...

Interesting concept. I am not a writer but as a visual artist we deal with voice in much the same way.

I sometime struggle with my blog, and my tone or voice as well. I mean I write it and had never thought of it as having a voice- but it does.

I could go on about this concept, and how this idea of having a blog voice gives me some sort of new comfort.. but the words are not fitting together in the way I would like. I think I have momentarily lost my "comment" voice.. :(