I've read TONS of blogging advice posts by bloggers for whom I hold the utmost respect. The piece of advice I stumble upon most frequently is this:
FIND YOUR VOICE.
It's as simple and as difficult as that, right?
I had no freaking idea what that meant, at first. When I started out writing reviews on GoodReads, I felt like I had to give an intricate, professional mapping out of why I liked the book or why I didn't like it. And I did it using a voice that wasn't my own, but rather what I thought a book review was SUPPOSED to sound like. This honestly became tedious after awhile. This isn't how I speak in real life. This isn't an English paper I'm writing or an article for the New York Times. This is just me, giving my opinion of a book in the best damn way I know how.
If I were to talk to one of my friends over coffee and gush about a book with which I've recently become enamored, I'm not going to explain how deeply moved I was by the perfect placement of that semi-colon. Heck no. I'm going to nonsensibly delight in the "OH NO SHE DIDN'T" and "PERFECTEST COUPLE EVARRR!" with arm flailing and crazy eyes.
If you've ever read a review by me, you know the following: I am, if nothing else, enthusiastic about the books I love and I want you to love them, too.
If I read a book that I love, you'll know about it. I'll shout it from the rooftops. I will tweet 5x times a day and nag EVERY ONE of my real life and blogger friends until they purchase said book and ultimately agree with me. My reviews mostly consist of gushing. Seriously. I'm quite long-winded with the gush factor, too. I don't write well-structured reviews and they're hardly professional. I prefer to type up my reviews in a conversational fashion. The words I spew from my fingertips are things I'd say to my friends over the phone after I just closed an amazing book that had a ridiculous impact on me.
But I can't help but wonder if this helps me or if it hurts me.
It's been drilled into my head: FIND YOUR VOICE. Well, I think I've found it. But am I ultimately hindering my potential as a blogger if I avoid the more professional route? Do authors, publishers, other bloggers, readers prefer the professional, well-structured reviews to the incessant fangirling?
Disclaimer: By no means do I plan on changing the way I review. Structure and professionalism are my mortal enemies! This is the easiest way for me to get my point across. Take me or leave me! ;)
So what do you guys think? Have you had any experiences where you have been turned down or overlooked because of the particular structure (or lack thereof!) of your reviewing style? Do you prefer professional, formal reviews or are you down with the hardcore raving?
Inquiring minds must know!
EDIT: This is not to say that I don't enjoy deep, analytical reviews. I freaking love them. Because you guys are doing something I don't quite know how to do. I don't think there's any "right" or "wrong" kind of review, personally, because your reviews are YOU and that's what's important, is it not?