What is my writing style?
Often I find myself questioning what my writing style is. Is it friendly, grotesque, uplifting, powerful, or simply just words? Does my composition of language give others that same feeling I had when I wrote them? There is no doubt that someone may read one of my stories, or product descriptions, or website content, et cetera, and get a completely different read on it than what I intended.
I am new on the professional writing scene, though I can proudly say I've been writing stories since as long as I can remember. The difference today from yesterday is that now I am in the precarious situation of having to sell my talents and stories, and in that requirement I'm coming to realize there is a fine balance between my voice and that of a brand's. The scales may tip more on one side than the other depending on the task, and discovering how far from the fulcrum I need to stand in order to balance is nearly athletic in its endeavors. However, with that balancing act comes the joy of the job; that test of skills that I find so delightful.
I often characterize my writing style as "realistic," and by that I mean I love telling stories that are gritty, grungy, and not terribly far from believable. I like creating stories out of the world we already know. I want to impress upon the minds of my readers that, yes, this actually could exist. How does that make you feel? Similarly, however, I love to stretch the limits of the believable while maintaining that grasp of reality, exaggerating the qualities of real life to show something new. I strive to be a fine mix of Kurt Vonnegut, Donald Ray Pollock, and William Faulkner, however audacious that may be.
In discovering what my voice is, I feel I can better write for my clients. A brand voice is important to maintain; it was crafted during a very long and thoughtful process of making that product or company reflect the personality it is supposed to. Maintaining the voice is no small matter.
Knowing this, I have come to realize that a continuous analysis of my own writing voice and creating content for others is like weight training. By writing for brands, I am building up my endurance and pushing my limits in order to better write for someone else. But what keeps me on track is my foundational writing voice, the reliable platform on which I pursue some new writing endeavor. As my interests and voice change over time, I will continue to keep that platform squarely underfoot, making my brand-specific writing on-par with the guidelines set forth but also something not seen by anyone else.