I joined in on an enthusiastic conversation last week about finding your voice. The post called Five Examples of Blogging Voices was wonderfully crafted by Jayme Soulati. She broke it down into five different styles (with some great blogger examples!) to give us some food for thought about how we fit into these personalities and how her examples could contribute to finding our voice.
It was certainly an eye-opening article (and don’t miss the comments below – the conversation between the bloggers will bring a smile to your face). It really hit home with me as one of the best explanations I’ve heard about finding your voice. After I let the words marinate with me for a few days, it finally occurred to me where I’ve heard this breakdown before. It was from the movie called The Breakfast Club.
The movie celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2010. For those us raised in the 80’s, we can attest to the fact that the movie impacted our generation. It was one of the first films we had ever seen where they treated teens like adults and not just some Disney-esque version of what kids would do if they all spent a Saturday in detention.
I was 17 when the movie was released and I can clearly remember feeling a solidarity when we all watched the movie together at the theater. This movie represented our chance to show the world that teachers and adults were just seeing teens as how they wanted to and not for who we really were.
Circle back around to post with the examples of the blogging voices. When we think about finding our voice, we begin with this preconceived notion of who we think we should be. We think since we’re representing our company, we have to be reserved and just provide our readers with the many reasons why they should buy from us or pay for our services. We think we should hold back with our true personality because who would want to read something written with someone’s inner weirdness?
But The Breakfast Club teaches us that’s not the case when we attempt to figure out our voice. In the end of the movie, we see Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall) “The Brain” as he writes the final essay the principal Mr. Vernon assigned them at the beginning of detention. Each of the students were asked to write a paper detailing “who you think you are.” Instead of each student submitting his/her own essay, Brian writes one letter from all of them.
In the end, the final letter challenges Mr. Vernon’s distorted judgments that he has about all of the teens. When we compare the movie to finding our voice, we realize that each of us has something that makes us unique within us to create our own touchpoints with our readers (or potential customers). I challenge you to read through Brian’s letter and think about his words as it relates to finding your voice.
Dear Mr. Vernon,
We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong, but we think you’re crazy to make us write an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us… In the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain …and an athlete …and a basket case …a princess …and a criminal. Does that answer your question?
Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.
Maybe we should all be required to write an essay answering ‘who you think you are’ before we start to blog.
Photo Credit: Duke University Library