Thursday, October 29, 2009
Writing like Speaking
Last night I continued reading Nick Daws CD writing course. There where some interesting ideas. I think that I will not enroll in a formal writing course because there are a lot of low cost alternatives like this one. Beside there’s already a lot of free materials available in the Internet. I am astounded by the wealth of information out there. It’s getting to be a ‘silent’ and ethereal tower of Babel with all sorts of people writing and giving there 5 cents worth. One should distinguish the writings of quality from those that are just writing to earn a buck. In the latter, one could just say just about anything and reading these blogs wastes your time and confuses your mind.
Anyway the writing course had an interesting advice which is to write like you speak. From this perspective, Toastmaster is helping me be a better writer. I think this experience is helpful in structuring my thoughts and arranging them into a conversational manner. Clarity and structure and organization are important as well when making a speech. In fact I often write speech that does not ‘speak’ well when I make the speech. I come across as too formal. So I try to make it more informal. I guess that’s also my problem when I write. My thoughts often come tumbling out in a torrent that I appear disorganized and confused. Or it comes out as too formal that it’s boring and dead.
Achieving a balance between both extremes may not be the solution as well. The challenge is really to be authentic. The Toastmaster experience especially here in this country provides this opportunity. People speak from the heart and go directly to the essence. So it will help me to go directly to the point when writing or when expressing myself. I noticed this already when I write e-mails. I need to self-edit myself to get understood. Hence, speaking from the heart will also help one’s writing skills because one gets to develop his authentic ‘voice’. So writing like speaking becomes a reality.
So writing becomes a journey of self improvement. To be a good writer requires one to be a highly developed person in thoughts and in speech. For my specific situation, it requires slowing down my thought process and focusing on the flow of thoughts. I sometimes miss the flow of conversation with the folks here. I find that I am often slow in catching up or that folks here are slow witted. So it’s like our minds move back and forth until an understanding is reached. I guess that’s what it means to have a singular and original mind in a nation of individuals. Being understood requires a synchronicity of minds.
Listening to Jimmy Carter speak in his books reveals that he is a unique and singular person. So is Bill Clinton. I think people from the South retain their individuality that speaks of their authenticity. They just seem to be more humane and real. I think I learn more about the south by reading Jimmy Carter. Bill Clinton has that core but he is more sophisticated and I think he is worldly and seems like an Easterner. I guess it’s symbolic that he moved to New York from Arkansas. But both persons are good examples of people who write like they speak. I think they have found themselves that they are able to write. I am not sure if I have found myself yet to be able to write like I speak. I guess I have to speak properly first before I can write properly.
I think I started to write better before I could speak. But it became a technical task and lacked the authenticity that a voyage of discovery would reveal. One could be more worldly and experienced without achieving the unique voice that one should achieve. Internally the result is an internal tower of Babel with words becoming just words without meaning. The result is a lot of verbiage which rhymes with garbage.
The solution is to rise above the garbage, de-clutter and simplify. The result will be less thoughts and mental confusion. Strange that meditation now looks like a way to be a better writer as well. In summary, meditate, find your voice, de-clutter and simplify your life to be a good writer. Once equilibrium is reached that person has reached a state of development that is blissful in the Zen meditation point of reference.