Writing by Speaking

A few weeks ago I wrote about the tools and materials of writing and concluded that using clauses to make interesting, well-ordered, complex sentences was a core skill.

I got this idea from David Lambuth’s book, The Golden Book on Writing. This is a book a lot like The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. Like Strunk, he was an Ivy League University English professor and turned his class notes into a pamphlet sized book.

Here’s another gem from the book:

Write down your idea as you would in speech, swiftly and un-selfconsciously without stopping to think about the form of it at all. Revise it afterwards.

I can’t easily write “as you would in speech”, so I’ve been trying to learn by speaking my writing. To be fair, extemporaneous speaking is also difficult, but it does feel like something that I can improve with practice. I talked more about the details in Write While True Episode 20: Extemporaneous Writing.