I had a weird half-asleep epiphany last night, and I want to see if it still holds water conscious.
I’m a writer. I’ve always been a writer. I dictated my first stories to my mother before I could hold a pen. From first through eighth grade I spent lunch and recess buried in a notebook, because who needs friends anyway. I wrote two novels and dozens of short stories before I graduated from high school. I have been freelancing since I was fifteen, and I even served as copy editor for my hometown’s (shitty little) newspaper. I am more confident in my ability to turn a convincing phrase than in anything else I have to offer.
And yet so much of my writing on this blog veritably (as we in the industry say) sucks.
I look through my archives, and the posts are full of all the conventions I redacted mercilessly in my copy-editing days. A ham-handed pretension. A too-cheerful pomp. In short, blog tone. I’m watching my own voice peter out and all fashion blogging’s clumsy conventions filter in.
I write very well when I sit down with a notebook and a shot of absinthe or curl up with my laptop and a mug of tea. I find a groove and carve it smoothly. Somehow, though, when I open wordpress and click “add new post”, something shrivels. Somehow the act of blogging has divorced itself from the idea of Writing.
Writing, for me, is as organic as it gets. I had words before I knew how to have them. Blogging, though, is something I’ve learned. I did not sail into this world knowing how to talk about fashion in a resonant way. I learned, adapted, internalized. And there’s a sad uniformity in a lot of the examples out there. Blog tone is one of those terms that barely needs explaining, that will immediately ring true with anyone on even the fringes of blogging culture. It’s unadulterated pep. It’s pomp and circumstance. And even though I’m loath to blame anyone else for my bad writing, you gotta admit there’s a certain insidiousness to all of it.
Artists pick up conventions from the media they work in. There’s really no disputing that. Genre is symbiotic. I wrote ad copy for a while in 2011, and it took me months to shake the “wonderful! fabulous! BUY NOW!” shtick out of my prose. The longer I blog about fashion, the more I sound like a Fashion Blogger. And I’m really not so into that.
2015 will be the Year of No More Blog Voice. No more pretense, no more inflation, no more addressing readers as “lovelies” or “bloglings”. In some, it rings true. In me it does not.
I’ve always been about blogging fashion on my own terms. I already subvert quite a bit. This is just my latest hurdle.