Finding My Voice, or Getting Laryngitis?

laryngitisI have a confession to make: blogging is way harder than I expected it to be. A lot of great writing advice suggests blogging is a good way to find your voice. I want to find my voice, but keep coming up with laryngitis.

I wouldn’t call it writer’s block, it’s not that I can’t think of anything to write. I have plenty to write about, that’s part of why I started this thing. There’s a lot more tumbling around in my brain than is turning up onscreen.

It’s not a time factor either. My son is old enough to entertain himself for a while if I need to write. My husband is very supportive of me writing. I am aware of the time-killers in my life, now more than ever, and set them aside at will so I can write.

It’s not that I can’t write. There’s always room for improvement, but I I think I do alright with the basic mechanics of writing. Constructing a sentence or forming a paragraph are not my top worries when it comes to blogging.

Why Laryngitis Explains it Best

My trouble with blogging is much like suffering from a case of laryngitis when my favorite hymn is played in church. My heart swells with all the emotion that song evokes for me, but I can’t sing because I’ve lost my voice.

Likewise with blogging, when I actually sit down to write, I just can’t get the words out. Even when I have something really meaningful on my heart to write about, I get bogged down when I try to put it into a blog post.

I think the public nature of the blog intimidates me a little. I mean, people are reading what I put out here. It may or may not be all that many people just now. Still, thinking that others can access what I write at the click of an URL sometimes messes with my head.

Values competing in my thoughts sometimes distort what I want to say. For instance, I often try to “put things in the positive,” emphasizing what is possible or permitted rather than what is discouraged or denied. Yet, sometimes the clearest way to state something is to use a “negative” message. (“Don’t play in the street” is much more to-the-point than offering, “You can play in the lawn or on the driveway.”) The inner debate about how to approach a subject stifles my ability to just write.

Uncertainty about who my audience is challenges me on decisions about what to write or how to frame a post. Maybe if I was more specific about who I want my target audience to be, it would be easier to decide. Even when I resolve to answer that question, I have different ideas about who I hope to reach.

The Cure and Certain Hope

I suppose the cure for this bloggy laryngitis is similar to the cure for ordinary laryngitis: communicate the best I can right now and don’t overstress what voice I have. Like the patience required to wait out true laryngitis, I need to be patient with this phase of writing. How long will it take me to truly find my voice? I can’t say. But laryngitis always passes and I know this will too.