Trying to find my voice

DeathtoStock_CreativeSpace4 11.45.06 AM

So I write for my own fantasy sports website and I recently picked up a weekly column for another fantasy sports website that has me writing about College Football. I’m very excited to write for this new company, and I love writing for Sports Monte as well. My issue is trying to make what I write both entertaining and full of good content. I struggle to find my voice when writing about fantasy sports.

I should mention that I do love fantasy sports. I am not the number-obsessed, analytical type that has algorithms, formulas, prediction models, 18 open spreadsheets, a fridge full of Surge soda and 4 monitors going at once (I did just buy a second monitor off Amazon that hasn’t arrived yet and I do kind of excited about an uptick in productivity, though).

Anyway, the things I write on this blog I really enjoy too because it gives me freedom to find my voice. I was reading some quotes that David Sedaris said at an event about finding his voice. He suggested that it takes years and years to find a voice, and the best way to do that is by reading and writing every day.

Easier said than done when you work 40+ hour weeks and have to raise a 90 pound dog-child who needs toys, poop bags and food, and also hates when you’re in front of a computer and not paying attention to him.

But I think it’s easy to have a voice when I am basically writing as though I am brainstorming like I’m doing now. There is no pressure to go back, reread and rewrite, make edits or even worry about mispeled words. When I write about sports, something I’ve loved since I was a pup,  I feel like my voice should come easily. I can talk about fantasy football or this week’s golf tournament for hours, but the pressure of making it something that is presented in a way you think your editor wants if tough!

I did ask my editor today if one line I kept in my last piece was OK. Basically, I took a jab at Adrian Peterson having missed last year due to “legal issues.” For the record, I was trying to be funny and if you read what I actually wrote, it was funnier than what was just presented. Not, ha-ha rolling on the floor funny, but enough to make you curl one side of your mouth and let out a little, shoulder raise-gut bump kind of laugh. Nothing your coworker would notice, but enough that your wife would ask, “what?”

I also think in writing like this I tend to ramble, take a tangent and stay there for a while, explain things past what anyone cares to read, and just keep circling the wagon until I’m satisfied. I think I write like I like to talk, and aside from my brother, there are very few people in the world that could enjoy the way I talk when I have free reign to open up about whatever nothingness I have on my brain. I would probably enjoy talking to a clone of myself for a day or two, but would ask that they are put back in the lab after that. I couldn’t imagine having a twin because there would be no getting away from it. We could literally have a conversation about the best way to load a dishwasher and why tetris-ing the plates this way actually gets the dishes cleaner.

I scale back for my wife so she doesn’t leave me.

I think you see what I’m getting at.

Anyway, I could (literally) go on all day, but I’ll end this post by calling it an exercise in finding my voice. I need to find a way to be me while still engaging a certain type of audience who doesn’t come to my writing looking for such long-winded explanations as to why Eddie Lacy will out perform Mark Ingram.

Or maybe they do?


Author: ryanjrauch

I am not here to change the world. I am here to change my world.

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