PileofMonkeys wrote recently about finding your writing voice, and it got me thinking. I do a lot of writing in a week. It’s mostly letters, memos, and talking points for work, with the occasional press release or proclamation. And then, of course, my Persephone posts and tumblr spam, with some short stories and fanfiction thrown in when I can find the time. As is true for most folks, my writing generally falls into two categories: professional and personal.
Unlike most people, though, my professional voice is not just a less casual version of my personal voice. It’s not even just the “work version” of my real personality. My second voice belongs to Bossman.
Bossman is a relatively long-term incumbent. At least, he has held some form of elected office since long before I started working for him. So of course, he already had his own style of speech and writing that was established before I had to set pen to paper on his behalf. It didn’t take too much getting used to before I could write something in his voice that his own mother wouldn’t be able to tell that he hadn’t written himself.
For a while there, though, I thought I was losing myself. I’d sit down to write something – a complaint letter, maybe, or a ranty facebook comment about something in the news – and it would come out sounding like something that belonged in Bossman’s file cabinet. “I was appalled to hear the recent news that Blah Blah Blah did Thing. As a Something Special, I fight hard against blahdy blah blah every day, and…” Well, you get the picture.
Fortunately, our lovely editors here at Persephone got together to save me. (At least, that’s how I remember it.) They came along with the idea for a new Lady Blog and agreed to let me write for you all. By exercising my writing muscle for fun instead of mostly at work, I was able to seize my own voice back. Now when I sit down in front of a blank screen or an empty page, I can switch back and forth between the voices as smoothly as if they were both my own. And it’s much easier to figure out whether it’s my turn to talk or the little Bossman who lives in my head.
Image courtesy of Disney.