This afternoon, after I published a post about my upcoming trip to NYC, I was searching for other new posts on the WP home page. And what I noticed was that I couldn’t actually find the section of the home page that allowed me to simply search by topic. I could see the Freshly Pressed posts, but I had to really search for all the other recent posts. Which I found pretty frustrating. And I wondered, because I haven’t posted anything for a while, why that ability for members and guests to just see recent posts was changed, or made more difficult. Seriously? Anyone know? I mean, how do new members, and people with really not many followers, get noticed and get more followers, which then obviously would encourage them to post more?
Anyway, my search for something new to read (and ultimately, to see where my own recent post was listed amongst the newbies), lead me to The Daily Post and The Weekly Writing Challenge. Which I had never seen before. And I read it and thought… hmmm, I don’t think I have a ‘style’ of writing as such. Or that I was – am – inspired by anyone in particular. And I really wouldn’t have thought that I ‘imitate’ anyone else’s style of writing. Or that I could even begin to know HOW to imitate any particular style of writing. And I don’t know why anyone would want to try to write in any form other than what comes naturally to them. So I discarded the Weekly Writing Challenge. And as I put my laptop down my mind was having a little conversation with itself (kind of like the way Homer Simpson does with his good and bad self)… well, actually, that’s probably not quite an accurate description of what was going on in my mind. It was probably more along the lines of ‘what a stupid thing that is. To ask people who they imitate while they blog… pfft!’ But, then my thoughts turned to favourite writers and their style. Do I even have any? Do I actually know what their ‘style’ is? And isn’t it a little pretentious to claim to have a preferred ‘style’ of writing. Are there people out there who actually do, only read certain authors or certain styles of writing? And doesn’t that really limit what you can or can’t read, and therefore, an unlimited number of experiences? And do people actually ‘imitate’ their favourite writers? Seems bizarre to me.
I read pretty much anything. My house is full of various bookshelves with all sorts of writing.
I’m not particularly a huge fan of horror stories, but I’ll read a good thriller, even the not so good ones. I read fantasy like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and so on, I read trashy romance novels (yes, I even bought and read these, which sit on a shelf in my bedroom in an attempt to stop either my teenage son or daughter reading them!
– thought the writing was crap, didn’t mind the story overall), I read historical fiction, romcoms… I don’t really have a preference. And I’ve made sure my kids’ read a range of stuff too.
(one of Ryan’s bookshelves)
(one of Caitlin’s bookshelves)
Since I was a child I just loved to read. I still have pretty much ALL of my childhood favourite books. From the classics to Enid Blyton, who really was my favourite author for such a long time, to CS Lewis (and I have to say, I still love the Narnia Chronicles… all of them, and really, they’re really classics as well)
And I’m super fanatical about grammar. Which, in my job (primary school teacher), is probably a good thing! So when I read something in which the grammar is not great, like so many Facebook posts and blogs, I kind of turn my nose up and roll my eyes, because I really hate it. I read a post on Facebook yesterday that said ‘girl purpose boy. Click like for yes, share for no’ and it has tens of thousands of likes and thousands of shares. And I wanted to write ‘that doesn’t even make sense and you really should learn to proof read before you post’, but I figured, what’s the point? Facebook has been overrun by silly, pointless, teenage rubbish and putting my teacher/parent/grammar correcting 2 cents worth in is also pointless. Anyway, back to the point. I read alot. Some of it good, some of it not so good, some of it awesome and awe inspiring. Some of it extremely trivial… like the kind of trivia you find in simple magazines.
(these are my son’s Football Records)
(these are some of my home magazines)
(and these are my daughter’s girly mags, including a bunch of teenage girly mags that I kept from when I was her age and she thinks are totally retro!)
And I don’t really care who wrote it, what their particular style is, even if they have a particular style. I blog a bit. Not much, but you know, if I had more time to sit around, or if I knew how to blog quickly, without turning each blog into an essay, I might blog more. Either way, I write as I speak. I write whatever comes into my head, although Facebook has taught me to censor some of my thoughts because people, myself included, can easily (and often do!) misconstrue the simplest of comments when written rather than spoken.
So I guess the style I imitate, ultimately, is my own.