September 26, 2012

Finding My Voice

Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; 
figure out what you have to say. 
It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. 
~Barbara Kingsolver

This blog has only been around  for a few months. I'm a newbie in the blogging world, an infant really. A recent post on Insatiable Booksluts has me wondering about my voice. Not my singing voice, because yuck. No, my blogging voice. My writing voice.

Let me be super clear and say that I don't consider myself a writer. It just so happens that I love to discuss books. Blogging about them is the surest way to meet people who enjoy the same. I admire bookish people and I want to know you all!

Society 6
What do I want to blog about exactly? Well books, of course. Duh. But what kind of books? The kind that I damn well feel like reading. I don't want to feel pressured to read something that I wouldn't have picked out on my own. That means I won't be accepting review books unless I really REALLY want to and I won't be participating in reading challenges unless I really REALLY want to.

How do I want to blog? Honestly, authentically, Jenniferly! When I jabber about a book on my blog I want to do it the same way I would with one of my friends in my "real life". I've been struggling with this. I don't want to pick and choose every single word. I don't want to try and sound like a professional reviewer because I am not one. I want to get excited and use exclamation marks and swear words if that's what I feel like doing!!!!!!!!! Dammit!!!! 

I am going to find my voice. I might stumble around a bit on my way but I'm going to do it. 


How did you find yours? Please comment your hearts out below:


  1. GREAT POST!! I write what I want to write about. If you like it, awesome! I'd you don't, I don't really care!


  2. I write like I talk. I'm totally shouty in person, people are constantly telling me to calm down.

    When I started talking about books, I tried to do the standard format with the blurb and everything, but it really didn't feel like me. So I've switched to what works for me, talking about how I feel about the things I both like and don't like. I don't like to give spoilers (unless it's for Trashy Tuesday), and I've found that I really don't like reading many other book blogs.

    Maybe I'm being an ass, but there are so many out there, it's like they're all from the same batch of cookies. They all use the same descriptions and phrases to describe the same books they're all reading. I don't want to be like that.


  3. Enjoyed your post! Like you, I write what I want to write about. I write negative reviews and positive ones, because I just want to be honest with how I feel about a book. I do review books, but I never promise to write a certain way when I review anything. And I participate in some challenges, because I think its a great way to meet other bloggers and get bookish ideas from them. At the end of the day, I started my blog for fun and that is how I want to keep it - fun and focused on books. I just found your blog and I already like it, because your posts are honest and engaging. I say, keep it up!

  4. I love your 'real life' voice and that essence is apparent here in your blog. There are Jenisms all over the place and I dig it man. Not thinking about it too much is the purest way to see the 'you' that we (your real life friends) love and respect.

    So proud of you for even doing a blog, period. You got this, girl!


  5. Well said! Enjoy blogging! It's not my regular day job, only my hobby, so I don't want it to stress me out. Recently, I stopped accepting review requests and I also stopped monitoring how many followers I had, since every time I gained or lost one, it would freak me out and cause me to over-analyze. I also don't post as regularly as I used to because I just want to simply enjoy blogging and not stress myself out. My day job provides more than enough stress, so I'm comfortable allowing the book blogging world to be my "safe" place :)

  6. I decided that I didn't like the run of the mill essay type review for my blog. I thought about what I would want to know about a book if I was reading someone's review and came up with the some questions/topics that I answer. Such as "My favorite scene", "favorite character", and I try to think of people who would identify with the book in my "would recommend to" section.

    I try to keep my reviews in MY voice. I'm just not good at pretending.

    Good luck!


  7. I have to say I completely agree with you! I like the idea of reading books that I receive from publishers, but not all the time! I think it's a good way to help get the blog "out there" but I also feel like I have some of the fun taken away from me, and it's harder to be honest (as we chatted about through Twitter) when you have to review a book for a publisher. I am trying to read a few of those, but read a majority of what I actually want to read. I think it's about finding a balance, or just saying screw it and doing it your way!

    I also think that the more you review, the better you will become. I started my blog right after yours (coincidence, not crazy stalking or anything like that), and have the same issue. I want to stay true to myself, but also be honest. I don't want to say something in my blog just to get a reaction, but yet I want people to react to my blog as well.

    I think that as we go along on our book blogging journey, we'll be able to develop our voice more clearly. Plus, the two of us already do what is super important: stalk and comment on other book blogs. That will help us develop our voices, too!

    I also consistently remind myself: My blog is 3 months old as of now. Some of these other book bloggers have been doing this for years. I will get there, but it might take some time!

  8. It comes naturally, I have found, after reading and thinking about books, you'll develop your own style of writing :-) I also had a tragedy in the family earlier in the summer that made me realise that there can be a balance between personal blogging and review blogging. It took me 3 years to find out.

    Just keep doing what you do, as long as you enjoy it and adapt when you feel like it. Your inner blogger will show you the way :-)

  9. When I first started blogging I told myself that I would be respectful of people and tip-toe around because I didn't want to offend. I figured that the best way to get readers was to be appealing to people and that in order to do that I had make sure that I didn't swear or get political or be honest about what I think about certain subjects. That didn't last long AT ALL.

    I swear. I get political. If I think something is stupid, I'm going to damn well say so. I don't tip-toe around and I don't let myself be polite (and dishonest) in the interest of garnering readers. People read my blog because they like it. They enjoy my extensive, honest, and often irreverent reviews. Sometimes I offend people, but that's just how the cookie crumbles. My blog is part of the world, not some bubbled-in safe haven. I chose not to blog like someone else, but like myself. And it's really paid off.

    From what I've seen of your blog, I love it. You stick to your guns about the books you read and you say what you think. Being true to yourself is important. It's what reading and writing are all about. :)

  10. Your blog's identify will grow and change and it will evolve in time. And that's what makes it interesting. I blog about books but I also include a lot of my photos, a bit about my garden and a weekly feature about birds. So maybe a little over half of my writing is about books.

  11. I think you have a very lovely and strong blog voice. I feel like I kind of know you IRL just from your blog. I quit taking review books because it was making me crabby and I wasn't getting to read anything that I really wanted to read.

  12. You do have a great and witty writing style Jennifer.

    I totally agree about not reading free review copies of books. Frankly, I have enough to read. Joining a reading challenge could be interesting in theory as it is nice to point in a direction that one would not otherwise point in one in a while. On the other hand these challenges would involve too many books and too much time. I think it better to participate in an interesting reading week. One can pick a single book out of an entire category with those

    As for being pointed in a direction that I normally would not go in, the only book that I read in years that I did not choose myself was chosen by you! It was a great choice however and it certainly is something that I would have read on my own!

  13. Great post Jennifer! I also feel the same way. I am by far not a professional writer, nor do I aspire to be... I certainly write to reflect that. I used to be scared to post something that wasn't uber professional, not I don't care... swear, craziness and all!!
    Good for you for using your own "voice"-I LOVE your blog <3

  14. Agreed! I've been blogging for a long time, over four years, but I still sometimes struggle with finding a voice and deciding how I want to talk about books. I think it just takes time to find a way of blogging that makes you comfortable and confident and happy. But it's good that you want to do that (I think some people get distracted and want to seem "professional" rather than authentic, and that's no good). Good luck!

  15. Thank you everyone. You have no idea how much all of your comments have lifted me up and made me feel like YEA I CAN DO THIS! You all are so freaking inspiring and fantabulous!

  16. I think about this a lot as well, as a new blogger. It's hard to find your voice, and some days I feel like my posts are just stumbling around with no central "purpose" anchoring them. You will find it though, you are a great blogger!

  17. I read your blog because I love how your write! Its so casual and easy, yet informative -I learn exactly what I need to know about a book.

    I feel I struggle with my "voice" - I stumble between writing how I talk, writing as if I were writing something for a class, and sometimes, exactly how I want to write. I find I have an easier time the more I like a book, then the words just flow.

  18. Best idea, use your own voice. I found mine just by staying true to myself, and like you, writing what and how I wanted. What those things are will be different for everyone and that's part of what makes the community so great.

  19. I'll be honest, I'm still working on this. Sometimes I'm not quite sure what "me" sounds like.

    Great post! :)

  20. Let's hear it for swears and !!!!!!!!!!!!

    I'm a big believer in doing whatever the hell you want on your blog, so go for it!