A WELL STYLED LIFE

...style is more than what you wear, it's how you live your life

August 22, 2014

The Importance of Your Voice


My take-away from last month's BlogHer convention was about my "voice".  Both my audible voice and my written voice.  The authenticity of my voice. The value or perceived value of my voice.

I met so many bloggers with a honed...specific...laser focused voice,  I came away wondering..."what is my voice?" Why am I blogging and do I even want to continue?

What exactly is a "Lifestyle" blog? Has mine become a journal of sorts with the occasional rant  thrown in?  It's certainly not evolved into what I intended it to be. For that matter, I'm not sure I had a clear direction in mind when I started this one.

Fairmont San Jose
The view from my gorgeous room at the Fairmont San Jose.



Vlogging is apparently the wave of the future for the blogging world. We are such a visual society... the natural trajectory would be audio-visual.

In fact, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.  So armed with this encouragement, I decided to try making a personal video.  It's results got me wondering...

What if you perceive my voice to be deep, melodic or pleasant...when in actuality I sound like a squeaky Minnie Mouse? How would your perception of me change?  I can report that I don't even sound like myself, to me. 

Could this be similar to the fallout when Hollywood switched to talkie's and the "vocally impaired " actors couldn't compete?  I for one, hope it's not the case for me.

Do you prefer to read blogs or are you curious about vlogging?

Do you already watch YouTube videos?  I don't even watch network TV, so it'll be a switch for me.

As an update to my lifestyle, journal blog...my brother-in-law passed away peacefully,  August 1. I've been attempting to get back on track and resume my life as I knew it. 
Thank you so much for all your kind comments and lovely emails. It was very comforting and appreciated. 






60 comments:

  1. Well, "speak" has been my word for 2014 and it's opened up several new things for me so focusing on my voice, both my actual voice and my written voice has been beneficial. I usually skip over video clips. But then, I like to read. I love words. And no, I won't be doing any vlogging in the foreseeable future.

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  2. How odd.......I too am getting ready to POST a small video where you can hear my high pitch voice!I too do not hear how I really sound.A Lot of people have made fun of my voice over the years........unfortunately I cannot change that now.I have NEVER used YOU-TUBE.Have watched a couple....clips.
    As far as YOUR BLOG.........you have changed a bit in these last 6 months or so.Before you NEVER showed yourself!Now, we get snaps of YOU.You are already evolving...............XX

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    1. Your voice is unique, as are you. Shame on people who make fun of others. I think it shows a deep insecurity on their part. xo

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  3. I think vlogging is ok once in a while but for logistic reasons I don't think I would follow a blogger who only vlogs - i dont carry around earphones so if i am in a cab or on the rube then i woldn't want to watch a video. Youtube is fine but only if i am looking for something specific or a old film reel or video. I think the younger generation are more into that but then again you have to keep in mind that most mobile phone plans are varied and i wouldn't want to eat up my allowance on videos quite frankly. I like to read. a writer's voice is much more authentic than volume IMHO.

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    1. Great point! I hadn't considered the logistics of when a post is read or heard.

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  4. My deepest condolences on the passing of your beloved brother-in-law. What an angel you were for him.
    Most people might assume I have a twang but only when drunk! I am sure you have a beautiful voice.

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    1. Thank so much. You are a doll and I'd loooove to hear your voice xo

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  5. I don't know if I'm ready for my voice to be attached to my blog. I'm happy with the voice I've created with the written word. As far as your posts go, I'm always interested to see what you've written because of the diverse subjects you choose - a little style, a little rumination, a little lifestyle.

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    1. Thank you! I guess that's what a lifestyle blog is.

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  6. I'm not a Youtube aficionado either although I do watch too much television. Weaning myself off some now. So I like to read rather than watch on my computer but that doesn't mean I won't change as blogs evolve etc. I would say go for it!

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    1. Thanks Mary. I have yet to produce something I'm willing to share :)) But it's something that intrigues me.

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear of your brother-in-law's passing, much though it brings both him and your family peace. It finalizes a loss you've been dealing with and readying for over a long period, but you'll all be adjusting and mourning in different ways over the next, oh, forever. Take care (I like your voice, and I really like what La Contessa says just above). Personally, I'm not very interested in "vlogs" (such an ugly word!). Just too many other things to do and I love reading so will stick with blogs.

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    1. I love reading as well. I was actually surprised how much focus was directed toward vlogging...and the word itself is unpleasant. I agree.

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  8. I enjoy visiting your blog, Jennifer. I guess I knew from day one why I wanted to blog...i had a story to share and I wanted to help others my age through the journey of life after 50. If I did not have this focus of where I have been and where I am going, I don't think I would be a blogger. Voice and purpose are so important. I also think the reason I can write almost every day is because I am purpose driven. I hope you will be able to figure things out and that you will stick around!!

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    1. Thank you for that Pam! Very sweet of you. I'm finding a bit more direction and hope to get back on track very soon.

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  9. If blogging evolves into vlogging, then I'm out. Not interested. Besides I write my best posts with serious bedhead and my cup of coffee. I can't imagine having to be presentable while I'm flogging my writing into something readable. Hey, wait! That's what I'll call my style....I'm a Flogger!!

    All kidding aside, struggling to find your voice (which evolves as you do) is just a sign of being a good writer, I think. And I love to read that you notice yourself blogging on topics that you hadn't anticipated writing about when you first started. That's exactly what's happening to me. Good topic, Jennifer.

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    1. Bed head...Oy! Producing a video shows every flaw:))

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  10. Can't wait to see your videos! I tried one today for the first time. Speaking of unexpected voices ... did you know I sound 12 years old in a video?! Hee.
    OXOX
    Dawn Lucy
    http://fashionshouldbefun.blogspot.com

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    1. Isn't it hysterical to hear yourself? And then seeing yourself... I don't look like that do I??!!

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  11. I concur with Pondside and Silverinthebarn. Not really interested in vlogs but I AM interested in the myriad things you write. I fear that all this "find your voice" stuff is dangerously close to market research, rather than an honest counsel to simply be yourself. What I love about your writing is that it covers many topics, with a distinctly unique nature, precisely because it IS yours. Go with your gut instinct - if you feel videos are interesting, try them out, but don't do it simply to appeal to an audience that isn't already here.

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    1. I suppose part of it is hoping that I'm writing something that has value for my readers. Thank you Gretchen!

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  12. Hi Jennifer, first off, I am so sorry for your loss. I have been reading along about your posts about being a patient advocate and wishing you much strength. I am really behind on blog reading as I've spent the past couple weeks moving and getting settled in New York. Just yesterday, Gigi of Gigi's Gone Shopping posted about her experience at the BlogHer conference. It sounds like it was a really interesting and worthwhile experience. To be honest, I am not all that enamoured of vlogging. I have tried watching some videos posted by bloggers (mainly beauty bloggers who are doing reviews of products) and it just doesn't hold my attention. I prefer reading blog posts. I love reading your blog and hope you continue with it!!

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    1. I hope you're all settled in. Moving is so stressful. I agree about the beauty blogging. It makes a lot of sense. I may try it for informational posts. Thanks for reading!!

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  13. Hello Jennifer...my condolences on your loss of your brother in law.
    I much prefer the blogging world...I won't be vlogging anytime soon ;)
    And just to let you know I love your blog there is always such an honesty to your writing...don't give up!
    Happy Weekend xx

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    1. Thank you Catherine! My honesty offends some, but I suppose that goes with the blog territory. xo

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  14. Jennifer - so sorry for your loss and how wonderful it was that he had you in his corner.

    I suspect your voice will be a balm to us all. I know your blog is. I think we all go through the "is this what I want my blog to be and do I even want to blog?" phase from time to time. I have thought of chucking myself, but then I really like my blog friends and so now it is basically "Wendy's Life" and I personally love seeing a snippet of Jennifer's...

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    1. You're so right about blog friends. When I visit, it's like sitting down and enjoying a cup of tea together! Comforting and friendly. A place where I feel understood and understand them. xo

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  15. So sorry to hear about your brother-in-law. I enjoy writing and reading. Have never warmed to video as a medium so I will be a late adopter

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    1. You write so beautifully Jenn. I love to read your words.

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  16. I'm sorry for your loss,
    On the topic of blogging: I prefer to read, YouTube is for watching cat videos...

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    1. Thank you. Those cat videos can be hilarious:))

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  17. Hello Jennifer, I want to say, again, how sorry I am for the loss of your brother-in-law. You were an incredible advocate for him until his final breath. You deserve to take all the time you need for self-care and to feel balanced. As for blogging, I'm glad to see you are feeling it again. I've always enjoyed your blog and now that I've met you, in person, I know that you are completely authentic. Your voice shines through. I think you simply have to trust your gut about what is right for you. As for videos, I've done them mostly during travels to capture a moment. Bits of video are fun but I'm a fan of the written blog and photos. Great post and happy weekend!
    xx, Heather

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    1. Thanks so much Heather. Going to try taking some on holiday like you do. I just loved "accompanying" you on that carriage ride. Thank you also for your honesty and encouragement on our phone call. You are a class act all the way Doll and I'm so happy to call you my friend. xoxo

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  18. Dearest Jennifer,
    I have always encouraged the bloggers I know fairly well to treat it as a seasonal activity as you do need down time and if it ever starts feeling like 'work' then it ceases to provide the outlet you were looking for.That likely is not what is conducive to growing an audience but uninspired posts for the sake of getting something up will drive people away too. The whole vblogging thing is interesting and I did just get a fancy new Samsung 5 phone that is supposed to have a lot of fancy bells and whistles. I am looking forward to doing some youtube type segments on cultural activities. I still look at my blogging as first and foremost a writing exercise
    xo ~G.

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    1. Dearest GSL,
      Excellent advice!! I look forward to your foray into video. Your writing and "den" is different than any blog I've read. Bravo.
      xo~ J

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  19. I really enjoyed this post. It echoes everything you and I have been discussing. You already know what I think on the subject. Since so much of my life revolves around music, I was once asked what was my favorite instrument. I replied -- the human voice. There is nothing more beautiful, especially when what it says comes from the heart. You always speak from your heart no matter the subject.

    Thinking about you all day and wondering if you felt any earthquake tremors in your area? I'll be in touch by email.

    xoxo, M-T

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    1. Thank you so much M-T. I originally didn't plan to share my personal life...but seem to have traveled that path anyway. Let's talk soon. Much love xoxo

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  20. Jennifer I am so sorry for your loss! Your brother in law was blessed to have you. xox

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    1. Thank you Dani. Your blog is one of the ones that feel like visiting a true friend!

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  21. I am new to your blog, but I would like to extend my condolences after hearing of your loss.

    Re video's on blogs - I have seen a few, and I am afraid they are excruciatingly boring to watch. Most people have no idea how to create the right sort of narrative arc, how to edit, how to frame, how to maintain interest. I have a degree in Drama and Screen Studies, (Honours) and these are the skills we learn - I literally couldn't believe one video I saw the other day and the "writer"literally told us things like I got in the car, I shut the door, I turned on the ignition, I drove to...etc etc. Another, the writer decided to do a song and dance routine - after two minutes I was snoring. An intro like that for fun, and then a few quick jump cuts into the vlog action would have worked better.

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    1. Oh no, Sarah Liz. Those videos sound painful to watch. Having no training in video arts, if I try them I'm sure it will struggle too!
      I watched one the other day where a woman showed us how she made coffee and oatmeal I'm the morning...yawn!

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  22. I am so sorry for the loss of your brother in law. He was blessed to have your care and love and you too were blessed to be able to shepherd him through this slow denouement. As for video-blogging, I am interested in written word. The joy of blogs are the words and the personal nature of those words, not always well written, but thrown out there anyway, it is not about the writing anyway but about the words.

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  23. Dear Mrs. C.
    If it is not too late to jump in the discussion, well, that sums it up, does it not, a discussion, visual, audio, written, spoken, in the end we are modern versions of the past’s pen pals having a discussion. To me, that is the beauty of what we do and why we do…

    Peace and rest to the weary; love to you, your sister, and your brother in law.

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    1. Thank you so much! We are very much like pen pals. I hope your back is fully recovered.

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  24. Oh, I am sorry for your loss and the space in your circle...

    Interesting about vlogging. I went back to a few of my posts that attracted some attention, and tried reading one aloud. Deranged ole lady ranting. So for now, no innovations.

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    1. Thanks so much. You're hilarious. I think most of my writing is that way too.

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  25. Lifestyle blogs are merely venues for wealthy people to brag about their lifestyles.

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  26. I am so very sorry for your loss, Jennifer. I didn't even realize this when I visited your previous post.
    My condolences to you and your loved ones.
    (((Hugs)))

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  27. Condolences to you during this time of loss. And hope that you continue to blog, and vlog when you choose to do so. I always enjoy visiting your space.

    I love to read, and have come to enjoy writing. So blogging is where I am right now. But who knows what the future holds. Looks like we're all in this together.

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    1. And what delightful company I find myself in! Thank you so much Judith.

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  28. Ahhh, Jennifer, I've been away quite a bit this summer and didn't know about the loss of your brother-in-law. My sincerest condolences to your family. I find myself in the same situation about blogging, however, I have always known I could tell my story so much better if I told it visually. As a creative person I find it's an outlet and very fulfilling most of the time. I seriously don't discuss my life's problems because we ALL have those and I don't know who would find it interesting to read about the travails of Marsha. The focus is on fashion/lifestyle/travel/entertaining and I've found people respond to this. However, I also know that there are lots of women who prefer cooking, home-making ideas, etc. This has never been me...and I must remain true to the authentic "me" and so should you.

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    1. Thank you Marsha!! Authenticity is where it's at for me. xo

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  29. Nice post.
    I just think that each blogger blogs for different reasons
    we might not all blog to be heard by the world and
    that does not mean we have to be or try so hard to,
    nor do we have to be preaching something.
    There are bloggers like me who blogs
    for the sake of inspiring myself with the beautiful things around me
    and blogging serves as my stress reliever from
    my everyday worries and tasks.

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  30. I agree with you Ann. Some blogs are informational, some are soulful and some are inspiring. There is no end to the type of blogs we can read. The beauty of the internet. Enjoy your day and thank you for reading!!

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  31. Hi Jennifer,
    I just recently discovered your site. I enjoy your writing, I think sometimes we connect with people just by putting out there what is on our minds and in our hearts, and keeping it real like you do in your posts, has people like me coming back. It is nice to read about thoughts from another woman the same age, I am always wondering how others deal with life. Thanks again for your posts, I will be returning. - Nancy

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    1. Thanks you Nancy. You seem to be from very near my old "second home" stomping grounds. Such a gorgeous part of the world!! I agree about enjoying hearing the thoughts of women, my own age. This youth obsessed society has a habit of ignoring us.

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