What a Difference a Voice Can Make

I love to read.

I would rather read a book than do just about anything else.

Especially housework.

Since art camp ended last week, I figured I had about three weeks to get everything done that I need to before starting back to school. My list is long. Everything from getting the laundry caught up (like that ever happens in this family) to painting my kitchen and dining room. The problem is I’d rather read a book. Then I realized I could download an audiobook onto my phone and have a book read to me. Perfect solution, right? I know people who do this all they time. They love listening to books on tape. Win-win, I figured.

So I bought an iTunes card and my son put it on my account (because he remembers the password stuff). Then I started browsing through my favorite authors. I learned one thing real quickly. Christian fiction audiobooks cost a whole lot more than secular books. I kept looking and finally found one that wasn’t too costly. I’d already read the book so I knew it was a good story that I really enjoyed. As I started working I mentally listed all the chores I could get done while having a book read to me. Win-win, right?

I have now learned a good lesson as a writer AND as a human. Tone of voice can pretty much make or break any conversation. It took about five chapters before I realized the heroine of the story wasn’t the villain. The reader spit her lines out, made her whiney, and created a very non-likable heroine. I’d read the story before so I kept wondering WHERE my heroine was. I remember liking her, rooting for her, wanting her to get the guy. This time, I just wanted her to go home.

It’s Friday and I’m still not finished with this audiobook. I read the book myself in a few hours–probably stayed up half the night reading it. Now I’ve learned how nice it is to NOT have someone reading to me! Silence is bliss.

After reading this book myself, I’d have given it 4-5 stars. Today, I’d give it 2 at best. The reason it failed? The reader’s tone.

And that is where the lesson is for me. Silence is bliss when the tone of my voice isn’t very pleasant. When my words are only going to be sharp or whiney, everyone would probably enjoy my silence. It doesn’t matter how the story was written, it’s all about how someone perceives your tone. In talking and especially with all the technology out there.

Is it possible that tone of voice speaks louder than any words?

What a lesson for me to be reminded of!

Enjoy your weekend,



3 responses to “What a Difference a Voice Can Make”

  1. Lori Nilsen says :

    Good reminder Sara. I’m sure my kids would like me to be more silent sometimes.:-)

  2. julane hiebert says :

    Ouch!! Great post. Remind me not to call you any time soon! 🙂

  3. Jeanie Berg says :

    Agree with you 100%. You can read dull boring magazines to a baby in a soft lilting voice and they will smile and coo like as if you are saying the sweetest things to them And vice versa—not a good idea, but you can say nasty things to them in a sweet voice and they won’t know you’re being nasty! I would MUCH rather read my own books!

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