Write the way you speak

I read this suggestion on a blog recently, and while I’m sure it’s good advice for most people, for me it would be an absolute disaster! When I open my mouth, I usually become a blithering idiot.

Perhaps this is because the distance between my brain and my mouth is much shorter than the distance between my brain and my hands. Often ideas aren’t fully formed before I blurt them out…I have a vague idea what I’m trying to say, but my audience almost never does. Writing the same idea down gives me more time to formulate the best way to get my meaning across.

I also get tongue-tied very easily. When I’m speaking sometimes I’ll flub a word or two, or get a few words in the wrong order. I have no idea why this is. Nerves maybe? Or my brain moving faster than my lips? It happens most often with people I don’t know all that well so I’m going to go with nerves.

Now I’m thinking about it, I’m sure this isn’t what the writer was talking about. What they were saying was that there is no need to use a different ‘voice’ when writing. You should just write things the way they sound in your head. That I can do.

Here’s a few things I’ve learned about writing in my own voice:

  • There’s no point using a lot of big words. It doesn’t make you sound more intelligent, just really pompous.
  • Unless you’re writing something in a specific historical or fantasy setting, there’s no place for flowery, Shakespearean language (prithee, forsooth, what ho!)
  • Try not to waste words repeating yourself. If you can’t make yourself clear the first time, you’re saying it wrong.
  • It’s best to have someone else read over your work to make sure you’re getting your meaning across.

Any other suggestions?

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