Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I write like
Margaret Atwood
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

So according to this meme using a biographical piece I'm working on (oooh, mystery - nah, I will probably post it here once I'm done with it, which may be a while considering how pure my laziness writer's block is right now) I write like Margaret Atwood.

I'm quite flattered, as she is a literary goddess.

However, I'm just going to say right now that I do not necessary endorse the expertise of this thing, as a different sample of my writing told me I write like Stephen King, and seeing as I haven't actually read any of his work I don't know what to say to that. Um, tangent.

Anyway, this got me thinking about written voices. I like reading other people's writing - fiction, non-fiction, fanfiction, whatever. I like that the written word is like a little window into someone else's head, and if you know that particular someone else personally then isn't that just a ridiculously powerful thing? But from what I've noticed over the last few years as I've developed my writing is that, for me, the context really distorts the voice. Is that a good thing? I don't know.

Let me give you an example. After I've been studying and it's so late at night that the house is still and I can only hear the buzz of the air in my ears, sometimes I get a compulsion to write, and when I do it is typically adjective-embellished, feminist and/or romantic fiction. Is that my voice? That is probably the voice that the internet tells me mirrors Atwood's style. But to anyone reading this sentence, right now, do you see that parallel? That's the strange thing, that so easily I could slip out of my creative writing shoes and into whatever this is - probably a more personal voice considering the subject matter. And then of course there is my essay voice, which I am told is pure academia tinged, of course, with my flowery tendencies. To me all of these styles of mine are just so distinct.

This makes me think that maybe I'm lost in my voices, maybe I don't actually have one voice. And maybe it's not just me, because it's so easy to read someone else's writing and think huh. That sure sounds different from how I know them. In a world where being independent and recognizable gets you on covers of magazines, maybe that's a concern. If my admitted style idol Dita Von Teese can look exactly herself in a vintage sundress and red lipstick, if you can see a bunch of funky line breaks and punctuation and know that e. e. cummings was probably the author, if you can see puffed-up shoulder pads on a celebrity and instantly say Balmain - why can't so many of us find that streamlined authenticity, that instantly recognizeable it factor?

images from ditavonteesefan.net, style.com; poem by e. e. cummings

I really want to continue this entry and offer you all some huge magical answer to this very thoughtful and slightly depressing quandary of mine, but to be honest I have no idea where to go from here. That's why I'm going to post this as only Part I of some kind of series about figuring out who I am/where my voice is/what the heck a voice is supposed to be anyway - after all, this blog is very much about finding myself, and I think it's something for everyone to think about. What side of you that you present to the world is "the real you"? More unnervingly, do you?

And that's why I'm so flattered and puzzled by the answer of this internet thing. As a parting note, I entered this blog entry itself and got:

I write like
Margaret Atwood
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

So I guess maybe I'm more consistent than I thought.


much love,

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