If you have been following this series then I hope that the overall point you have taken is to remember your audience. You will be writing about something from your own experience but the reader will be irritated if you keep writing in the first person (‘I went’, ‘I did’, ‘I saw’) in a list style recounting without pausing to put across something more meaningful. We have covered most of how to do that, but there is one more thing which is key: Spoken Voice.
What is Spoken Voice
Essentially, spoken voice is what will keep visitors from returning to a reflective blog. Reflective writing is particular to you. We have looked at that a bit in the part about using language but you really want to be able to write using a tone which is characterises you. Reflective writing is not like fiction writing where your character is created in a way which is appealing. You cannot choose events which are fantastical.
This is about your real life and you need to write about it honestly, albeit in an entertaining and engaging way. I suppose in some ways you are the central character in your own story so you need to illustrate your personality through your writing. In the same way as this helps readers to engage with characters, it will allow them to engage with you.
A Feeling of Knowing You
You will be writing in first person, therefore your spoken voice is crucial to allowing someone to feel that they know you and can relate to you. You will likely want to come across with a sense of being authentic, honest and self aware. Think about the features of your personality you want to come across so you should try to use a voice which will echo those.
Where it helps to have some informal language in reflective writing, using an informal style throughout will not allow you to combine the subjective and the objective so you should mix formal and informal. Again, it is a case of showing not telling. You want to use language to allow aspects of your personality and character to come across.
Creating a Confidence
For example, certain phrases will pinpoint your age and geographical locations, others may indicate your educational background. Punctuation can be used to show your humour, as can the use of imagery to point up meaning and highlight self-awareness. Think carefully about the words you use, how you put them together and the impression of yourself they create.
Using colloquialisms now and that can work well, as can using phrases to create the idea that you are speaking directly and in confidence to your reader. Using parenthesis to create an aside is also something that you might want to try. Overall, you want your reader not just to learn about your experience, but to get a sense of who you are as a person. This will not only mean that they are more likely to engage with your post, but also to return to your blog to find out more.
Other posts in this series
This post is the fifth and final post in a series of five posts about reflective writing. I hope that you have enjoyed them and found them helpful. They are part of our Member Content and if you haven’t already seen the others then you can find the links below.