I was having a discussion with my dad the other day about the enjoyable intellectual challenges of being a copywriter, and one of the things that came up was the fact that I have to write in many different voices. As a copywriter, it’s essential that you’re able to adapt your writing style to suit the client you’re writing for. Luckily this is something I’ve always been very good at and enjoyed doing, but I’ve come to realise that in getting so used to doing this, and in spending so much time writing as other people or companies, I have started to lose a bit of my own voice.
In the last few months since going freelance, I’ve taken on the persona of an educational institution, a corporate client selling a very niche kind of software, two different American crime authors, a high-end manufacturer of luxury domestic appliances, a commercial property manager, an HR consultant, a supplier of industrial-scale electric generators, an HR agency and a web design agency. And somewhere along the way, my own voice lost its edge.
Not long ago I was looking at some blog posts and diary entries I wrote when I was 18, and I realised with a sinking feeling that they were a lot wittier and more interesting and imaginative than anything I write as myself now. I now feel that, writing as myself, I would struggle to make someone smile, let alone laugh. I read what I’ve written for my clients and am generally very happy with it. But I read my own blog posts and I’m deeply unsatisfied with them. The grammar and syntax is okay, but there’s little of the personality that used to characterise my writing.
Over the past few months I’ve started blogging a lot more on my own blogs so that I am still doing some writing in my own voice, but I feel my own writing has become boring and lacking in personality since becoming so used to writing in corporate styles. I hate reading my own posts and feel deeply inadequate when I compare my own blogs to those of others.
I don’t know why I thought writing this post was a good idea; I just wanted to get it off my chest I guess. I don’t know how to tackle this problem and the lack of time on my hands doesn’t help.
Fellow copywriters: have you experienced this? If so, how do you combat it? If you have any suggestions, please help!