Monday, October 5, 2009

Showcase Yourself

Creation. Expression. Communication. Platform. Our blogs, they are so many things.

But do we use them to share our writing?

Is it important to share not only the mechanics, the ins and outs of this craft, and our individual journeys, but to showcase our written voices?

How is anyone to know me as a writer if I don't share my voice?

Do you share yours?

47 comments:

Jessica said...

Eeeps. I'll confess to being a scaredy cat. I don't think I've ever put my writing up on my blog, though I do have plans to have a link to an excerpt. Someday. LOL

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Oh, I hope it comes through in my posts, but that's a good question. Now you got me thinking?

Analisa said...

Hmmm, good question. I did some poems on my blog once. Sometimes I think my voice comes through on what I blog, at least it is my hope it does.

My fiction, nope I can say I have never posted that.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

I believe my voice is evident in my blog posts, but I've written even more on my website. I have thought of adding excerpts from my novels...but I'm still thinking on that.
Great question.
~ Wendy

Amy Sue Nathan said...

I have started to post some flash fiction on my blog -- if it hasn't been published elsewhere -- and just as an exercise for me, in getting something ready to be read (ha!)

Once I put a snippet from mid-WIP on the blog to see if it made sense as it was written, but I'm not sure I even identified it as such. I get all up-in-arms when I see folks posting chapters on their blogs - not that it's my business. I think that if you're trying to attract an agent via a blog it's unlikely (that hey day has passed). And, I think that people post work that's not been edited enough or workshopped enough and it is not representative of their best work.

I have found flash fiction to be a good way to put writing on my blog, but not my WIP. I also don't write about what I'm writing because I don't want to set expectations. There are aspiring authors who chronicle each baby step of their manuscripts and that doesn't appeal to me, for me.

I would love to read more of your writing - but I do think it's obvious you are a good writer.

Joanne said...

Great question, Janna. I think our "voice" does come through in our blogs, and I have linked to some of my published work on the sidebar. But I'm swaying towards the current thinking I've seen lately, that to showcase our writing professionally, almost like a portfolio, a web site better serves that purpose.

JLC said...

*raises her hand* I will post paragraphs, poetry, and even short stories.

I am not sure I would post my writing if I had a huge following, but I know my readers very well, and value their opinions and input. I see my blog as a little writer's circle. ;)

I can also 'hear' your voice in your posts. Its very calm and introspective.

WendyCinNYC said...

I post links to short stories and flash fiction that is available online, but I don't showcase my work as a blog post. I don't think my agent wants me to post excerpts online, so I don't. I will if it becomes beneficial to do so.

Jenny Greenleaf said...

I share links to my non-fiction, but I've rarely (never?) shared fiction. I'm too chicken. :-)

Strange Fiction said...

Great question. I haven't shared any snippets of my fiction, I have put up a couple of poems...

Janna Qualman said...

Jessica - You're not the only one. But I guess I don't just mean literal fiction excerpts, rather phrasing and flow in posts (whether informative or not) that are indicative of the blogger's voice. I see some blogs, while entertaining and filled with helpful stuff, but can't tell what kind of writing might be behind that writer. Does that make sense?

Eileen - Welcome! I hope the same for myself. I plan to check out your blog in a bit. :)

Analisa - And I think voice can be expressed in more than just fiction posts. In flow and word choice and the like. You know?

Wendy - I'm hesitant, too, to put chunks of my novels. I don't know if I knew you have a website. Hmm!

Amy - My reasoning for not posting from my novel(s) is the same as yours: expectation. I don't want to set something up that has so much potential to change, or place a need for accountability on my readers when it's not yet necessary (if that makes sense). Ditto to all you said.

Joanne - You may be right about that. It's something worth giving great thought to.

JLC - But just wait until word gets out about you, and you'll be having people drop by all the time! :)

Wendy - That makes absolute sense, given your current agented status. And I follow that way of thinking. I guess what I'm asking is, how different is the "voice" of your standard blog post vs. the "voice" of your novel? It's just a curious thing, more than anything else.

Jenn - So now I'm wondering if there's a difference in importance over putting non-fic vs. fic out there? I see both sides of it.

Strange Fiction - But yet I still get a good sense of your voice even without those poems

stacey said...

I think our voices do come out in our blogs. It may not be a formal piece but we can glean the influence of humor, drama or angst in an everyday post. My writing style is slightly on the goofy side and I can't disguise it with a thoughtful rant on the price of peanut butter. :P

I have posted a ff piece from an AW challenge though on Flibbity Gibbet, 'tis the season for hauntings!

Jody Hedlund said...

I'm not sure that we necessarily need to put our actual stories or books "out there" on our blogs in order to showcase our writing voice. I think I'm learning the different voices just by reading the blogs themselves. When I actually had the chance to meet some blogging friends, everyone seemed to match the mental pictures I had of them from their blogs.

Melanie Avila said...

I like JLC's comment that we get a sense of your voice in your posts. Me, I don't think my blog voice (ie the way I speak) is the same as my writing voice. Until I write a humorous wip, they'll stay very distinct. At least that's what I think.

You've read my book, do you agree?

As for what I post on my blog, I've posted a couple excerpts, but it's always been to make a point about something. Other than that I do post flash fiction pieces.

thedomesticfringe said...

Well, since blogging is the only writing I'm currently doing, I hope my voice shows and is heard. I'd like to do other writing, but I just can't seem to get life under control right now. ;-) Maybe one day soon.
-FringeGirl

CKHB said...

I once posted a flash fiction piece of mine as part of a contest where I was asking others to write flash fiction. I hope to eventually get an agent and a publisher and -- with their approval -- put up a few pages of my novel before it is released.

Rebecca Nazar said...

I haven't posted my stories, choosing instead to link the publications I'm in. I thinks it's a great idea, though. Give'em a morsal.

Travis Erwin said...

I've shared some but maybe not enough. I do have plans to share a couple of things in the coming weeks.

Cindy said...

I feel like I do, because what I write is part of me. But sometimes I feel like I hold back, for whatever reason. I hope my style and voice comes through!

Tamika: said...

Good reminder. I hope I do showcase my voice. My blog has so many meanings to me, but hidden beneath all the thoughts I share is the burning desire for people to love the way I write.

Practice. Practice. It's hard being transparent.

Blessings to you...

Heather Sunseri said...

I hope my writing voice comes out on my blog. I put a lot of me into my posts, so I think of my blog as practice in developing my voice and skills further.

Janna Qualman said...

Stacey - There is something to be said for that, whether we take the more formal route, or a laidback look at things. Good point!

Jody - I didn't so much mean that either, and you've expressed it very well; that understanding you get of a person just by reading their blog. And the extension of that is, the type of writer they are.

Melanie - EXACTLY. Your speaking voice - which is what comes out on your blog - is different from your written voice. This is not a bad thing. But this is the brunt of my post. I wondered how many this is true for. Are there some who do it intentionally? Those who avoid it? Why? I'm just very curious about it all. Thank you.

FringeGirl - I think so. You're fun and saucy, with a side of serious. I feel yours for certain.

CKHB - I suppose we all handle that aspect differently. And I guess at that level, it will come down to publisher approval.

Becca - And that's a fine way of doing it. One, often, the publisher requires. And it just does a resume good, I suppose. :)

Janna Qualman said...

Travis - I think yours in an example of a blog that doesn't have to have excerpts to lend your voice. You have a certain way of relaying your thoughts, and it's evident in both your posts and your fiction. Kudos!

Cindy - That's huge right there, the what we right being a huge part of us. I feel the same, and I think that's what my voice comes from.

Tamika - Great word. That transparency, I suppose, is figured differently for each of us, but it likely goes a long way in how much and what we share on our blogs.

Heather - Absolutely. I agree.

Lazy Writer said...

I have a hard time with this. My grown up voice is obvious on my blog, but not my written YA voice. Maybe it is there to some extent, but I don't think it's obvious. Hmm...definitely something to think about.

Stina Rose said...

This is the reason that I love to participate in Fiction Fridays. Great post Janna...like always! :)

Deb Shucka said...

All the time. And the blogs I most enjoy reading reveal voice strongly.

quixotic said...

I think my voice comes out in my blogs, however I have yet to become brave enough to showcase my actual story writing.

Maybe someday I will link to it.

Jenn Johansson said...

I don't think I do that as often as I should. You've really given me something to think about.

Natasha said...

I really want to, but I'm always behind on what pseudonym has due. If I could stop being behind on that, I could write something for what I would eventually like to be a NY career... and then I could find time to write something for my blog.

LOL. I just need to write faster.

LeSan said...

I actually feel like the odd duck here. I don't write about writing at all. I just focus on being honest with my words. Whatever I am writing, blogs, articles novels, etc. it has to be my voice. The story or topic may change but those are my words in my voice.

Beth said...

Oh, my blog voice and my writing voice are identical - my tone is always leaning toward humorous! :) I love to make people laugh and hopefully show them they aren't alone with whatever they might be struggling with. Very thought provoking!

Jill Kemerer said...

The blogs I follow all have unique voices. I really enjoy the variety. I know where to go when I'm feeling blue and need an uplifting post. When I'm feeling sassy, I've got a few to turn to, too!

Your blog is always soothing and smart. I'm guessing that's who you are in real life too!

WendyCinNYC said...

Janna, to answer your question, I think the voice in my blog has similarities to the voice of my novel, but it's not the same. *Especially* the parts that take place in the 1970s from the POV of a woman with mental health issues. Gah! I HOPE that's not my voice!

Janna Qualman said...

Lazy Writer - The more I think about it, the more I realize your voice is probably there, even if a little dormant. Because can a writer really separate themself from their voice?

Stina Rose - Good thinking! ;)

Deb - Ditto. :)

quixotic - It's a big step, isn't it?

Jenn - I think we all have to determine how it would best work for us, as with so many other aspects.

Natasha - Still, your output blows me away!

LeSan - And I see your point there, because how could one not write in their voice?

Beth - There is never enough humor! :)

Jill - That's a good benefit I hadn't really thought out so much; that there are blogs for a little bit of everything. Yeah!

Wendy - Thanks for coming back. ;) And I'd guess that difference comes down to tone, would you? I can dig it.

lakeviewer said...

I'm working on just that part, my own voice.

Kathryn Magendie said...

I do - at the old MSN blog I used to write about my walks in the cove - I loved those posts and would like to revisit them again - the nature posts ... *smiling*

(thank you for leaving the link for the supporting bloggers/local vendors post! :) )

Tess said...

Yes, you are right. But we have to be a little careful as well. I once posted a long snippit and some info about a story and then saw an eery similarity between that specific part of my novel with something a 'friend' was suddenly working on.

Don't want to sound paranoid, and I do love sharing snippits of my work on my blog - but am careful to keep it short and sweet.

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

i hesitate to put my writing on the blog itself. but yes, i think i share my voice with each post. :)

I wanted to let you know about my blog address change. *sigh* If you're following me, my posts now won't show up in your feed, dashboard, sidebar, whatever. So please forgive me, but you'll have to change the address for my main writing blog, Where Romance Meets Therapy, to http://jeanniecampbell.blogspot.com. To do this, you have to "unfollow" me and follow me again. Sorry for the confusion!

Jeannie
The Character Therapist

Nadine said...

I have to second Melanie's comment. I'm very funny in real life, but not in my writing. But maybe one day!

Jeanette Levellie said...

Janna:
Great point.
I try to put up a devotional or short work now and then, but I'm usually so busy writing my book I have little time to create new material for the blog. I believe I reflect my voice in my posts, zany though they are.

Lori said...

It is important to me to post some of my work on my web site and blog. I think it is important that I show who exactly I am as a writer. Even if it is not my best work sometimes, it is mine and it does represent who I am. And I like to imagine that people who happen to read it enjoy it. I like to please those who take important time to read my stuff.

Janna Qualman said...

lakeviewer - It's something we all have to find. :) Best to you.

Kat - It sounds just like what I know of you.

Tess - No, not paranoid at all. Cautious. There's reason for that.

Jeannie - Thanks for letting me know! I've fixed my stuff accordingly.

Nadine - Something humor is hard for me to transfer, too.

Jen - I suppose voice can certainly be expressed in many ways, zany or not! ;)

Lori - I agree. And you bring up a good point, about whatever may not be our best. It just shows we all have off days, I suppose, that there are hills and swells and valleys and lows for us all.

Thanks, everyone, for sharing your thoughts. What a great bunch of comments we have here!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Absolutely I share my voice. Great practice with a most kind audience.

Several different voices, too. My blog sometimes serves as my journal - therefore one only knows who might show up that day.

Janna Qualman said...

Midlife Jobhunter - "Great practice with a most kind audience." A true and beautiful thought!

Glynis said...

I have gotten braver. Thanks to the support of my blogging friends. I share more of my work now.

Woman in a Window said...

Heck ya. It's all I've got. It's all I am.
xo
erin

Janna Qualman said...

Glynis - That support makes a world of difference, doesn't it?

Erin - Yours is one of the loudest and most beautiful voices out there right now.