The terrible importance of Finding Your Voice

Ah. Yes. Hello. You know, let’s talk. Just you and me. Let’s pretend I’m sitting next to you. Maybe we’re down by the beach. Or in a pub. Perhaps we’re in two comfortable chairs, and we’re grasping happy glasses of cognac. Happy, presumably, that they have been released at last from their bottle, and are finally ready to serve the purpose that they were conceived for.

I have already digressed. Anyway, I hope that by now you have this picture of me, sitting next to you, in a “let’s chat” sort of manner. Not in the creepy “I can see what you’re wearing” sort of way (you are wearing something, right?). If the picture is still hard to conjure up, it might help if you close your eyes.

Oh wait, now you can’t read on.

Ok, I’m going to assume you’ve opened your eyes, and not fallen asleep. Because I’d love to talk to you. Even though you can’t really talk back right now. Ah, the narcissism of the writer. Feel free to skip right down to the comments at the end and just throw me some talk if you like. That would be nice.

What would I like to talk about? I’d like to talk about this. This writing thing. This thing that you are hopefully here for. Unless you’re here for the photos of course. Here’s one of those, to keep you interested. It has nothing to do with the post at all.

Sunset outback australia

Voice, I feel, is very important. The voice of the writer that is. Not the voice, either the TV show, or the sound I make when I speak. Which, I suspect, is going to surprise you the first time we meet in person.

Anyway, I was having a long chat with my significant other recently. Thus far she has written two rather excellent posts on the blog, and I am confident a third is being hatched. And what we talked about mostly was the importance of voice, and what the voice of the blog is, and where we are now with the blog, and where we are going with the blog. Because as well as tripod management and grammar checking, she is also a tremendous sounding board (did I ever tell you how we met, by the way? You can find that in a lovely little post about folks finding love on the road, in case mushy romance is secretly what you were after).

We talked about how I still don’t feel like I’ve quite worked out what the voice of the blog is. Or maybe, in fact, I have, I just haven’t figured out that I have. After all, we’re over three hundred posts in – I’ve had enough time to figure it out. If you’ve been here for a while, I guess you probably have an idea, too (that comment box is just itching for you to hit it up)!

Here’s what I want. I want this site to be a fun place to visit. With humour, because, frankly, life is far too much fun to take seriously. Humour, though, is hard, contextual, and needs to have the appearance of ease. Take this guy for example. Or this lady. They have humour nailed (I hope you came back after clicking those links and I didn’t lose you forever. If so, I hope you’ll remember me fondly as that guy who introduced you to those guys. Maybe we’ll bump into each other in a future life, and not quite make eye contact, and shuffle our feet a little awkwardly, and perhaps clear our throats, before moving on, sentences dangling unsaid).

Maybe I’ve made you smile. That would be jolly nice. I mean, really, when all is said and done, that is all I would like to do (man, writing this post is really helping me figure out what I want. Hopefully you’re coping at the other end of my pen).

So, you leave smiling. And that’s good. What else can I offer you, if smiling isn’t enough (you are a tough cookie!)? Well, I would hope the photos tickle you a bit (here’s another one, just in case your attention is wandering..

Devils marbles outback sunset

a photo IN a bracket. I’m breaking new ground.) and maybe you’ve learnt something about somewhere in the world that you didn’t know. And that would be jolly nice too. A fun filled, pretty, loosely educational experience. Basically, I’m the virtual version of a hooker with a PhD. Better at least than an STD.

If you hadn’t figured it out already, this is a very cathartic, thought sorting, self indulgent post. Sometimes to figure out what I want, I find long walks, idea bouncing and then frantic writing to be the answer. It seems to have helped.

There is another reason for me to be pondering this stuff with rather refined urgency. You see, in a few short weeks Vera and I are going to be heading down to Girona for a massive travel bloggers conference (don’t give up on me yet. I hear there are going to be drinks and everything).

There will be all kinds of people there, including some amazing travel bloggers who I have been keen to meet in person for some time to come, and also all kinds of industry reps, who may be able to open doors. Do I want doors to open? If they lead to magical castles and unicorns, probably. But for those particular doors to open, I probably need to have what I’m all about and The Voice of The Blog more clearly defined in my mind. Hence this post. Yes, I know, I’ve made that point already. Sorry, the cognac from earlier is starting to fuzz the pages a little.

So what is my purpose and what is my goal with the site? What do I write about? Where do I want to take you? Where are we going on this adventure? If I’m not careful, before I know it, I’m going to be putting together a powerpoint presentation to explain the whole thing clearly, in nice simple boxes.

I have a feeling that’s not something I’m going to enjoy, because then somehow my life will have come full circle, and I’m going to have brand guidelines for the site explaining what size font I want you to read my musings in. And then my head might explode. How hilarious the world can be sometimes.

It all sounds like terribly hard work, doesn’t it? Often, of course, the things we want the most in life are. I certainly want this blog to remain a big part of my life going forward, and hopefully you were planning on coming along for the ride. Together we’ll have a bit of a giggle.

And, as it is, the blog has already opened some rather lovely doors for me, in a way that made me feel comfortable and happy. And that was without a presentation or anything.

So maybe, and far more likely, I’ll just wing it, making stuff up as I go. Because pretty slides and numbers aren’t everything, depending on who you ask. And winging it seems to have worked so far. I am who I am, and what I do, and that’s all about being happy, comfortable, and, well, hopeful that you’re having a good time. You are having a good time, right? Here’s another photo just to be on the safe side:

Tongariro National Park sunset new zealand

In the meantime, thanks for putting up with my rambling today. It has helped. Helped me, that is. I have no idea what it’s done for you.

If you didn’t fall asleep already, I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can tell me what you think about all the above, whether or not you’d like me to send you that presentation I’m probably going to avoid writing, or you can ignore that entirely, and tell me your story.

Do you write? Have you found your voice? Do you know where you’re going, or is just knowing you are on the way enough? Is a travel bloggers conference a place you think you’d enjoy, or is it your idea of hell?

Wherever you are on your journey through life, the universe, and everything, share away! And maybe not having a powerpoint presentation and clearly defined strategy won’t make me feel so odd and undefined after all…

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