Losing my voice

It’s only Nov. 4, and I almost didn’t blog tonight. Part of it is like I said at the beginning, I don’t think I have enough interesting things to say to blog more than once or twice a week.

The idea of NaNoWriMo is quantity — 50,000 words in a month. As I understand it, it’s just about writing, and getting your thoughts and story lines down on paper (or computer screen). The quality comes later, if you want it to, going through the manuscript completed over a month and actually doing something with it, refining and editing.

I don’t know how well that idea translates to NaBloPoMo. I don’t want a blog just to be about quantity. The one thing that made me post tonight, however, was the idea that of sheer quantity, eventually something has to be good.

I mentioned earlier that I don’t like my writing voice. This is probably because the journalism program I went through — it has since changed since Mount Royal became a university, and when it comes to journalism intakes and degrees and MRU and the Ministry of Advanced Education that’s a whole other story in itself — had its focus on straight journalism. We were taught to write a news story, and, as I put it to a instructor at an American school during ACP 2010 in Kentucky, “We have our voices beaten out of us.”

He was a little concerned — “Who is beating you?” — but relaxed a little when I explained that it was just that there wasn’t a lot of opportunity for us to write editorials or personal journalism, the focus was on straight news stories. Like I said, the program has changed a bit, and if some of the second-year work I edited last year is any indication, more are able to keep their voices, in both good and bad ways. Good in that they have a voice, bad in that sometimes they don’t know when to quiet their voice and write straight news.

So I’m posting tonight because I want to find my voice. Even when I’m writing a column, there’s times when it sounds too much like a blog, and I have to back up. It’s been so long since I’ve used my voice, it doesn’t feel right. It’s a little unsure and shaky and I just don’t like it.

But maybe by the end of the month I will have found it.

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