When I read Mrs. Octopus's blog, I hear her voice as I read the words. The same thing happens when I read letters from friends. It's just like on TV or in the movies, when someone is reading a letter or a note and there's a voiceover. The voiceover is always somewhat eerily patient and calm, though, as if the author of the letter or note, now a disembodied voice, is exhausted, weary. And then you have those moments where the voiceover of the author reaches a funny part of her letter and chuckles just a bit, and the reader simultaneously nods his head and chuckles to himself a little. But the reader doesn't chuckle too much -- because that would be weird. The reader is always somewhat restrained in how much they can chuckle at the disembodied voice's jokes. These scenes are always marked by a tinge of sadness.
When I read the blogs of people I don't know, I end up substituting a familiar voice, maybe a friend's voice, or an anonymous voice from TV or the radio, for the voice of the blog author. (I do a similar thing when I read books and have to imagine a house described in the book -- I always, without thinking, select a house that I've been in before, usually a friend's house, and use that as the mental image of the house in the book.) I usually hear legal opinions in the voice of some old, finicky person. I'm not sure in what voice I hear appliance instructions, street signs, or newspaper articles. Although, now that I think about it, if the byline reveals the gender of the author, I will hear the article in an anonymous gender-appropriate voice. I'm having a hard time thinking of what voice I hear when I read headlines. It's likely a middle-aged male voice. Ditto with text that crawls at the bottom of a news program's screen.
Anyhow, I wonder what this blog sounds like in someone's head who doesn't know me and has never heard me speak. I have no control over what I'll sound like in the head of a stranger -- he could have chosen to hear these words in his head as the voice of Ronald Reagan, Donald Duck, or maybe Casey Kasem. If I had an option to choose, as one would a font, I think I might opt to have the words on this blog heard in the heads of readers as the voice of John F. Kennedy, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or perhaps Peter Lorre.
Update: I just reread this post, and I can't quite tell what voice I hear when I read my own writing. I kind of want to say that I don't hear any voice, but that's not quite right.