It’s debatable whether you are what you read, but it’s certainly true that what I read influences my writing style. A recent blog by Scott McKnight entitled Tips for Writers speaks to that point.
Have you ever asked the question, “Who do I want to sound like?”
Of course, the best answer is “be yourself,” even or especially when it comes to writing. Roger Ailes wrote a book entitled You are the Message, about speaking in front of a group; but the same applies to communication of any kind. His message was that “it’s you.” Be yourself, and let the message flow from your personality, passion, and enthusiasm for the subject.
But, of the many voices we all have to contrast Christianity and Objectivism, what’s the best one? I have to confess, I don’t intend to reach the same audience that enjoys a 400-page math problem (like some books I know). But I also don’t want to sound friendly, but say nothing. I really like Don Miller and Anne Lamott because of their easygoing, conversational style. They write in a way that I would like to talk! They relax and entertain. But, they don’t answer questions or present thorough arguments; they really just raise questions about issues. C. S. Lewis is a great balance. He has a clear-cut purpose, but his writing feels like a conversation. (It probably helps Mere Christianity that it was a series of radio broadcasts first.)
So, while I’m still hunting for my voice, I have decided not to move away from the academic (read ‘dry’) but not devoid of ideas and arguments; and toward a conversational discussion of provocative insights. I don’t know what’s possible, but it’s exciting to think about.