The secret to writing …

I struggled with writing in school and didn’t realise why, until much, much later in life. Now, I think that writing capability is based on one very simple secret … clarity of thought.

When we are clear on our thoughts on a subject, then the writing becomes effortless. I don’t think people have ‘writing’ problems - I think they have ‘thinking’ problems. 

When we have something clear and concise to say on a  given subject, then writing about it, is simple. So first, arrange/organise our thoughts; get clear on how we see a thing; what we think about that thing  … then just write. Typing is just super-slow thinking.

This is why discussion and debate is good; it helps us crystallise and arrange our thinking. Life experience really helps, precisely because ‘life experience’ helps us clarify our perspective on things. If I was teaching ‘writing’ at school, most of my class would be constructed around talking things out, until students became crystal clear on their perspectives on a given subject. 

In the same way that talking is ‘thinking out loud’ - writing is ‘thinking via the keyboard’. Clarity of thought is fundamental; the rest is just bells and whistles.


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