Existential Psychology

Write Conversationally

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If you want to know how to be a better writer and take a lot of pressure off of yourself in the process the answer is simple. Write conversationally. You have a unique voice, an original view on the world, and you probably find it pretty easy to communicate this view in spoken conversation.

But what happens to most people is that through the indoctrinating process of education that unique voice is put into a stranglehold when it comes to writing. They feel compelled to translate their thoughts into an unfamiliar language, into a stifling format called ‘professional’ or ‘correct’. It’s not really the fault of teachers, but the truth is that the majority of them aren’t going to win any awards for their own writing so why continue to feel limited as an adult by arbitrary rules you learned as a young student?

One of the biggest mistakes burgeoning writers make is to use words in their writing that they would never use in a conversation, to replace the words they use naturally with dictionary synonyms that seem more sophisticated to them. But the result is an uncomfortable translation that doesn’t flow for the reader because it’s not the authentic voice of the writer.

All you need to do is think about how you converse when you’re in a comfortable setting and knowledgeable about a subject and then try to put that word flow onto paper, tightening it up during editing of course. The closer you can approach the target the more accessible your writing will be and the happier you’ll be, because your writing will reflect how you really think and feel rather than how others have always told you to think and feel. Look, it’s a good thing that you learned all those rules, but now that you know them go ahead and break them when they get in the way of your authentic voice. Your product will improve immeasurably.