Friday, January 16, 2015

Writing | Like A Book Blogger

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[WRITING] like a book blogger. 

A few nights ago, I was looking over a blog post before I scheduled it and I was fortunate enough to have my guy sitting beside of me. Since he was RIGHT THERE,  I asked him if he would read over what I'd written and tell me if it looked okay.  

Him: Sure! 
Him: reads blog post 
Him: You need a comma before this word. 
Me: BUT I WAS USING ALLCAPS THERE! 
Him: What? 
Him: continues reading 
Him: Did you mean to use the word "love" so many times? 
Me: Well, yeah, I really loved the book. 
Him: Uh, okay...

And so it continued...

I should tell you all that he is a businessman and reads everything with a professional eye. When he reads my blog, I'm not really sure that he always understands WHY I write the way that I do. I can easily veer toward the animated side with my writing, commas everywhere...or not. He probably isn't the only one that notices this, but that's okay. I'm not a professional reviewer and this is not a professional website - it says so right on the front page. 

Here's the thing: my blog is my hobby. I come here to unwind and have fun while I write about the books and bookish things, and I love to interact with bookish people here etc etc etc. If I love something in real life, I tend to get pretty excited about it -- that's when I talk a little bit faster and move my hands around all over the place and have wide eyes. When I'm writing about things I feel emotional about, I can't really do those things -- there is where the run-on sentences, repetitive phrases, ALLCAPS, and excessive punctuation pops up. Also I sometimes disregard everything I have ever learned about correct use of commas. 

Because...

THIS IS MY VOICE. It's what feels good to me, sharing my personality so honestly. And it's what I really want when I visit other blogs. I feel strongly about this! 

Source
With so much weirdness and negativity out there in our peer group lately, I've been thinking about my place in the blogging community, how I fit in here, what that looks like to me. I feel like I want to share my blogging experiences because they've been SO POSITIVE and so, so good. So here I am, talking about blogging, in a new series. I cannot say that I understand what some of my peers are feeling lately or what is going on as it relates to negativity or wanting to stop blogging -- BUT! I can do my part and that part is sharing my experiences in a positive way, because I've been blogging for a long time and thankfully, I do not feel the urge to stop doing this right now. I DO feel the urge to start a positive discussion, though. 

I want to start with finding a voice in this community, whether you blog or review books on Goodreads or comment as a reader, because we are all connected and our interaction is so fantastic and brings us together. Having a voice that is my own makes me stand out and makes me unafraid to connect with other people. 


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I think that finding your own writing voice is super important and it may be something that takes a little bit of time. Unlike many of the bloggers that I know, I was publishing my thoughts on a blog long before I interacted AT ALL on any social network platform, also before I built up any type of following. What I mean is that I did not read any blogs at all before I started writing about books and I didn't talk to anyone online about them at all! OH I CRINGE at what I wrote in those older days and the first blog that I had was so weird and wonky. I had no comfort whatsoever discussing books with other readers out there in the world, really, because I didn't know that there were other voracious readers like myself WHICH MEANS I didn't have a good sense of my own voice. I would simply get online, write a few things, and click "Post." (Hang on, let me hide my face a minute, I'm reliving those days and I'm a little horrified.) 

I love love love the way that some of my good reading friends interacted a ton on other blogs and within the reading community because when they started their own blogs OH MY GOSH THEY WERE IMMEDIATELY FANTASTIC. These gals already had found their writing voice by discussing books with other people on social media! I'm not jealous, no way. But if I could go back I would do it exactly that way OR if I ever have any other type of blog, I'll know better next time.  

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IN SUMMARY: 
  • If you want to write like the Grammar Police, GO FOR IT. If you like it, I love it. 
  • If you want to write like you talk: HELLO MY NAME IS ASHELEY, I do the same thing. 
  • If you are somewhere in the middle, well that's okay too.
Don't let anything that other people say make you feel less about the way you choose to write your blog. I once saw a blogger speaking on video about cringing when she reads posts with different tenses in different paragraphs, and then she went on to speak about proofreading. Certainly being sloppy is one thing, but having a blogging style that is your own is awesome. I think about that video clip all the time actually -- even after five years I have to make a conscious decision to not let stuff like that bother me. If people are very focused on grammatical things like that, they may not be hanging around on this blog very much. Or maybe they are? I have my own voice, I like the way that I "speak" to my audience, and I assume that if they stick around then they like to read it. 

CONFESSION:  I feel very comfortable reading blogs/posts on social media that have writing styles that are similar to mine. Sometimes it feels very personal and almost conversational, which I think is very cool. 

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***Note to self:  Ash, when you ask the guy to read over blog stuff and he mentions all of the grammar stuff, JUST SAY THANKS.**

Any thoughts on finding your voice in blogging, 
reviewing on Goodreads, or commenting? 

Readers & Bloggers: Do you tend to gravitate towards a certain writing style? Or do you enjoy all types? 

Does it feel more personal to you if the writing style is basically the same way the writer speaks? 

LET'S DISCUSS! 
I'd really love to hear from new bloggers 
and people new to the community! 




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9 comments:

  1. YES! I think that with our posts, they need to be filled with voice and personality. After all, we're talking about something we're passionate about and something we love. There's been a lot of weirdness and negativity in our community lately so I also think it's important that positive bloggers like yourself keep blogging, keep doing what we're doing. I've had so many fantastic experiences and met so many wonderful people that it makes me sad when a few bad apples ruin things or create nasty drama.

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  2. I only guest blog but I read the blogs that people write from the heart. I have only just discovered your blog and I like the fact that you write honestly without spoilers. As for grammar I read quite a few blogs that are not grammatically correct but I give credit to anyone who cares enough to write reviews.

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  3. I'm a literature graduate student so oftentimes when I'm reading and reviewing books I have to remind myself that it's for fun and I'm not writing a crazy in depth analysis complete with crazy lingo from the field. I want to write like I would talk about books with friends because that's how I feel blogging should be. It's a fun outlet, not a paper. I'm still working on getting the knack down though.

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  4. I truly think grammar and voice are so so so different. I notice mistakes on blog sometimes, and I cringe. I think grammar can be forgiven sometimes over a spelling mistake or even a factual mistake. (How many times have people posted the wrong name of character in a review?)

    I think you can be enthusiastic and in love with a book but still... be aware of how you are presenting yourself? I don't know. To me, it's a form of pride. I get embarrassed when I see silly mistakes. But for the record, I never notice any of those things when I read your blog. Nothing is distracting me from enjoying what you write and getting caught up in your excitement.

    Also, I think voice takes a long time to find. A long time. It's very hard. Especially when you see people who are getting a lot of attention and you think your voice needs to be the same. It takes time and change and just... working at it. Maybe it's a task that's never quite done.

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  5. LOVE this post, Asheley! I totally write like I talk (full of verbal typos and incorrect grammar)! I think I sound like a Valley Girl most of the time. I'm not the grammar police and feel terrible when I find typos in my posts, but I try to keep it real. I think it's important to let your personality shine in your posts so that people see you as a person and not just an anonymous online persona. One of my goals last year was to infuse more of me into my blog and I think I'm on my way. Great post! I totally shared it! Totally! (see? totally...oh dear)

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  6. Oh my, oh my! This post is GOLD. So happy to stumble on your blog! I am currently having a crisis about the way I blog too. I feel conscious and insecure about my reviews and posts. Other bloggers seem to have a wide knowledge of vocabulary and perplex sentences and then there's me using the same adjectives, idioms, phrases, expressions. And it also doesn't help that I talk with so much excitement and fangirl-ness. I belong to many fandoms and I seem to inhibit and practice the fangirl language. I am afraid that no one will understand why I use: I CANNOT EVEN or YOU LITTLE SARCASTIC SHIT I LOVE YOU. But that's me... That's what I am comfortable of using. I've been using tumblr for almost 6 years now and I just couldn't shake the tumblr language off even the capslock.

    But you know what? You're right. Blogging is supposed to be our haven & outlet-- to unwind and be 101% ourselves. That shouldn't be taken away from us. As long as we're not hurting people, we can be who we want to be in our blogs. I am no expert in language and I don't call out people's grammatical error because I am guilty of having typos and errors myself, but I learned from it and try not to do it again or even improve.

    Fantastic post!! So much love for this! <3

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  7. Finding your writing voice sometimes takes a lot of trial and error. I've been reformatting old blog posts recently, and it makes me chuckle to see all the ways I tried to write reviews or present my thoughts in the past. I've come so far since then, and am finally at a point where I'm pretty comfortable with how I choose to express myself. I do think, though, that my journey isn't quite done and that my voice will change again in the years to come - and I'll probably welcome that change too.

    I do love that you pretty much say that it's okay to do things the way that feels RIGHT for you. Each person chooses to present themselves in a different way, and that's okay. Personally, I think it's easy to dismiss the occasional grammar or spelling mistake since it's not always intentional (and I've made my fair share of them in my posts)! While I do prefer a certain kind of voice, I'd like to think that I know how to appreciate the many styles my blogging friends employ too.

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  8. I pretty much agree with this whole post. I write the same way that I talk so if it is an incoherent mess than that is because I can't type words to explain the love or hatred I feel for that book. I suck at grammar (always have) and I can never remember the rules for commas so I either ignore them or just chuck them in whenever I would pause for breath if I was speaking to you. I don't think it matters. I just write what I want, how I want and if someone doesn't like it then tough. It's my blog and I'll blog how I want to.

    Great post :)

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  9. Thank you for share this informative post.

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