By Jael Strong
When I was growing up, it was a family tradition to gather around the television set on Tuesday nights to watch Matlock.Â We’re suckers for a good who-done-it, but we’re also suckers for a quirky character.Â And there were certain things about Matlock that were certainly a bit odd.Â Today’s subject:Â Matlock’s suits, a quirky element to the brilliance that is Matlock.
If anyone out there is aÂ Matlock fan (and I know that planet is crawling with us!), you know what I am referring.Â Matlock had plenty of suits, a rather large closet full if I remember correctly.Â But here is the clincher:Â They were all identical. This light grey suit, unremarkable in so many ways, was a hallmark of the show.Â When I think Matlock, I think “grey suit”.
Choose your style
Most of us do not wear the same clothing every day.Â We have varying outfits and styles.Â On the other hand, though we may not stray too far from the mainstream, we do tend to take on a style that is uniquely our own.Â People are able to say, “Sue would love that dress” or “Steve would never wear that tie.”Â The fact that people are able to say these things means that we have, even unintentionally, projected a style.
The same is true when it comes to our blogs.Â We may be known as a straight shooter.Â We could have the reputation of striking up controversy.Â We may be flamboyant, creative, or humorous.Â These are generalities that become more fine-tuned as we add certain lingo to our blogs, images, and concepts.Â Over time, our blog develops a style that is readily recognizable as our own.Â
Is this a good thing?Â Absolutely.Â Developing a style that is uniquely your own as a writer is a must.Â There are dangers of course.Â For example, not everyone can pull off the proverbial grey suit.Â If your style never varies, this could go one of two ways.Â One, people get tired of seeing that grey suit and eventually they tune you out.Â Two, they only want to see you in that grey suit; they love the way you wear it.Â Â If you insist on keeping your style narrow (a la “the grey suit”), your preference would be for the second option.Â
Stretching your style is a great idea.Â Matlock did occassionally don a plaid shirt when he sat on the front stoop and serenaded us with his guitar.Â There is a lesson here for us (yes, we can learn so much from this show).Â Don’t avoid other styles of writing.Â In fact, make it an exercise to include variations to your style in your blog.Â Add humor.Â Don’t shy away from controversey all together.Â Be straight forward, but don’t fear complex topics.Â Identify your style, then grab it at both ends and stretch.
As you dabble in varying styles, you may discover that your style needed a change.Â You may find that you like some styles of writing better than others and that people seem to be responding more to your varied approaches.Â Or you may discover that the grey suit is perfect for you, just don’t be afraid to toss in some sequins from time to time!Â
Jael StrongÂ writes for TheWriteBloggers, a professional blogging service which builds clientsâ authority status and net visibility.Â She has written both fiction and non-fiction pieces for print and online publications.Â She regularly blogs at Freelance Writing Mamas .
–ME “Liz” Strauss
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