I can not count the number of times that I have met someone and they have told me that I speak/carry myself exactly how I write. Sometimes I am not sure if they consider that a good thing or a bad thing, but personally, I am extremely proud of it.
When you meet me, I want you to feel comfortable. I believe it would be very awkward if after reading my blog posts for awhile, you met me and found out that I was a stuffed shirt who wasn’t actually sarcastic in real life. But of course, I am most definitely not a stuffed shirt and I use sarcasm as much in real life as I do in my writing.
I love ellipsis (…) and use them a ton in my writing because, well, I speak that way! Ellipsis allow for more, periods are so final, both in writing and in speaking. You can leave a sentence open to whatever interpretation the reader/listener wants to take with an ellipse… Jan over at Creative Instigation actually wrote a great post about ellipsis…
I also use the dash (-) a lot, to insert another thought into a sentence. I don’t do this for ‘dramatic writing effect’, I do it because I do it in real life too. I’ll pause during a thought – break it off and comment about something else – and then come back to my original thought. Could I use commas? Yes. Would that be more grammatically correct? Probably. But this is my blog, and I will write it the way I want, that is my right as a writer and I plan on using it!
What is important about how I write and speak? Well, it speaks volumes about who I am as a business owner and the types of clients I work with.
When I first decided to start my business and take it on as a full-time, 100% dedicated career, I talked with quite a few people in my industry. Those who had built successful businesses and had learned a thing or two, and were willing to share some advice. They all had really great thoughts, but when it came to my writing style, about half of them told me; “You don’t sound professional enough. You write for the masses instead of writing to attract high paying clients. You should never write the way you speak.” And unfortunately, this is where they lost my attention.
The other half loved my writing style and thought that if it worked for me, then I should stick with it. They said that my writing was extremely well done and the samples of client work I had showed my variety. They explained that this is my blog, and I should write it how I feel it should be written, as long as that continues to be successful. This half I listened to. They were no more successful than those who thought I should change my writing, they had no more experience than the other half, so why did I listen?
Because they were no less successful. They had no less experience. Which meant that their opinions mattered just as much – and their opinion (and experience) told me what I already believed: If it works for you, do it! Do not try to be someone you are not or you will hate yourself and the work you do.
And this is what I have stuck with, and while I have only officially been a business owner for 3 months, my business is doing well. My writing attracts incredible clients, clients that I want to work with, and understand what they are getting from the very beginning. There are no surprises when they see the work I do for them because they already know what they can expect from me just from reading a bit of my writing and checking out my work. Then, when they talk to me in person, they see it all matches and it makes working with me simple – no surprises or personality changes.
Do you write the way you speak? If not, why not? If yes, what type of responses do you get?