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3 Reasons Why You Are Ridiculously Wrong About “Never Write Like You Talk”!

Thumbnail image for 3 Reasons Why You Are Ridiculously Wrong About “Never Write Like You Talk”!

Recently, I read a post on a very popular writing blog that gave the following advice:

“Don’t write like you talk !”

In fact, the author went on to say that…

It Was the Worst Piece of
Writing Advice
She’d Ever Heard !

My first thought was that maybe the author was right… writing like you talk sounds like a bad idea on the surface… but then I realized that her advice was total bullshit, and here’s why:

1. Not Writing Like You Talk Changes Your Process

Even when we’re not talking out loud, most of us have a running narrative going in our head. This narrative often reflects the way we speak, and while it might be a bit more confident, neurotic, or vulgar, it’s the voice we are used to speaking with. Trying to alter that voice in order to create a 2nd personality is not only difficult, but…

Foolish !

We’ve had years of perfecting our own communication skills, namely the way we speak, so why would we suddenly try to recreate a separate voice for the purpose of writing? Many of my best posts are written when I’m able to convert my inner narrative into prose, often word for word.

Why Would I
Alter that ?

2. That’s What Editing is for…

The author’s reason for not writing like we speak is that she’ll include too many um’s, ah’s, and expletives, to which I reply…

That’s What the
Fucking Edit Button
is for !

Of course we don’t speak flawlessly at all times, but that’s the beauty of computers – we can write, edit, add, and remove as we see fit. As a blogger, I often spend more time editing my work than creating it, which I’ve grown accustomed to over time.

That’s What
Good Bloggers and
Writers Do !

To expect yourself to get it right the first time, every time, is ridiculous, and furthermore, if you aren’t taking the opportunity to make mistakes…

How Would You Ever
Improve Your Writing ?

3. You Get to Improve Twice

If you’re writing like you speak, and getting better at it, then you are getting better at both types of communication. As you learn to train your inner, outer, and written narratives, you become a better filter, and as a result…

A Much Better Orator and
Blogger !

I’m much less interested in being perfect to all people at all times than I am in learning, getting better, and growing as a blogger and a person. Trying not to write like you speak is not only disadvantageous…

It’s Fake !

What do you think? Have you read the post? Do you find that you write like you speak, or do you have a second writing voice that’s nothing like your normal dialogue? Let’s chat in the comments.

Stay Who You Are,

The Bad Blogger

Also Known As “The One”

P.S. My comment on that post never got approve, well… may be it got into the spam folder… or just may be… my comment was too brutal in the fact about why she is wrong.

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracyann0312 February 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Hi Wong writing and talking are just the same, they came into our mind and mouth naturally. In fact, I must say that they need to write what they talk because it can give them certain ideas that can help them improve. I agree to No. 2 reason, what can be the use of editing if we are writing in script manner and not in our way. Thanks for the reasons you have shared Wong and maybe that author never realized that writing is a free way style.
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Jane February 28, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Hey Wong, I totally agree with you. I simply write like I talk and then edit afterwards; I don’t understand why this would be a problem :)

In fact, when I’m working in a separate room or if I’m working alone when everyone at home is sleeping on the other room, I murmur the post as I write. This gives me an extra focus on what I write and also helps me confirm that I’m with the flow!
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Wong Chendong aka The Bad Blogger
Twitter:
February 29, 2012 at 8:42 am

Well, sometime I do murmur at what I write though, I don’t really do that often as I usually write like I’m really talking to someone, but anyway, I’m glad you had started a book about guest blogging :)
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Wong Chendong aka The Bad Blogger
Twitter:
February 29, 2012 at 8:39 am

Yes, talking and writing is naturally, and I don’t expect everyone to be the same at what they write but how to write because that’s what I had learn and read from copywriting course I brought and interview I heard from World-Class Copywriter… if that’s what they taught then it can’t be wrong.
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Bhupendra February 28, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Hi,Yes i am agree that “Don’t write like you talk” and i thinks it always give bad impression to reader.but we really improve by using no-3rd Reason “You Get to Improve Twice” that you have mentioned in article, After writing post we have to do self analysis of post then actual we can improve and i understand that trying not to write like you speak is not enough but think like a reader will improve writing.
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Wong Chendong aka The Bad Blogger
Twitter:
February 29, 2012 at 8:45 am

Well, thinking like a reader will not improve writing, I’m serious… and that include typing because by using a pen to write on a piece of paper is better in improving because action and moment is what stuff are being learned.
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Prakash
Twitter:
February 29, 2012 at 11:28 am

I agree with you Wong. as we are talking socially and if we are perfect on this. so we can write like we talk. Just be perfect on both type of communication.
Nice post again…….
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Wong Chendong aka The Bad Blogger
Twitter:
February 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm

Thanks, and yes if we can perfect on both, it will be great, but I would rather be perfect on my writing as that’s where I can use it to help, teach and even sell :)
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Micah
Twitter:
March 1, 2012 at 2:12 am

There is another reason you absolutely should write like you talk.

When we write how we speak, it closer matches the narrative going in in our readers mind.

It makes your writing flow better, and it’s more easily absorbed. In fact if you talk to any of the big name copywriters like Carlton or Kennedy, this is exactly what they will tell you to do!
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Wong Chendong aka The Bad Blogger
Twitter:
March 2, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Ya, I had heard those top copywriters you mention, and they all say the same thing, write like you talk, and there is no better way then improving it.
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Jason M
Twitter:
March 1, 2012 at 6:12 am

Lol I am so glad WordPress has a preview option . I abuse the crap out of it to try and make sure the post looks and reads right before I mash that Publish button and turn it loose!

Um, and how else would I write but as myself? Unless I’m writing a technical document that requires a specific method you’re going yo get whatever I decide to type on the screen. If I don’t think like me I’m just faking it and what would be the f’ing point in that? I want people to hear my voice as it were… as deranged as it might seem at times.

Another great article to help keep me frosty! Thanks!

Reply

Wong Chendong aka The Bad Blogger
Twitter:
March 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Ha… thanks… and yes we need to always be ourselves, write like how we would going to talk to friends or even teach, it’s the personality that make each and every single writer a unique angle, what other method is better then write like you talk… it’s how big shot copywriters that earn millions said… write like you talk…
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Lennart Heleander March 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Hi Wong,
Many bloggers try to write academically and it just gets a ridiculous text with lots of misunderstandings and usually a boring article that no one wants to read.

Reply

Wong Chendong aka The Bad Blogger
Twitter:
March 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Ya, and I do hope I don’t make you boring… hehe… I’m sure not… because you are always reading my stuff and I’m really glad to have a reader like you :)
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ASP Web Host March 1, 2012 at 10:11 pm

You make some great points here and I have heard not to write like you talk but as you said, it impedes the creative process by limiting the way you write. I also think that if you do write like you talk the reader will get a better idea of who you are as a blogger.
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Wong Chendong aka The Bad Blogger
Twitter:
March 2, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Ya, it’s always the personality that attracts the masses… the unique way of presenting words from your mouth that actually create the interest.
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ASP Web Host March 23, 2012 at 9:56 pm

I have also found that I will follow a satirical blog over a bland one, any type of humor I can add to my day is a good thing. There are some that I can’t help but laugh out loud. Those really are the best kind. The bland and the boring will make me leave a site quick.
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Avatar March 2, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Sometimes, I do write the way I talked it depends on the topic. And I used to add some expressions also. Its fine writing with some sound effects—to make it alive… its fun :)
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Wong Chendong aka The Bad Blogger
Twitter:
March 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Like the way you said it, making it alive and that’s what make a content alive :)
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jane krill March 2, 2012 at 10:49 pm

i agree that we must be ourselves when bloging but isn`t writing and talking the same, writing goes from our brain to our fingers and talking goes from our brains to our mouths

Reply

Wong Chendong aka The Bad Blogger
Twitter:
March 4, 2012 at 12:03 am

Well, that’s the point of this post, “isn’t writing and talking the same”… and sure we had been doing since the first day in school :)
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Jean March 4, 2012 at 12:31 am

Yea, I have seldom differed in my way of writing from my way of talking. In fact, I try to make my way of talking more like my writing, in that, I think more before speaking and try to be as to the point as possible. I notice that people start losing interest the more I beat around the bush, which is the same case with writing, as a short but effective piece catches more attention than a long but shallow piece.

-Jean
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Wong Chendong aka The Bad Blogger
Twitter:
March 5, 2012 at 6:12 am

Hey, Jean like your sentence – effective pieces catches more attention then a long shallow piece.

Well… that is why I always do my best to write content straight to the point as much as possible rather then going one big circle, but again the content must be effective just like you said.
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Jean March 17, 2012 at 3:24 am

Thank you, Wong. And yes, I agree about it needing to be effective and so sometimes, a bit of an expansive write-up is more appropriate than a short one.

-Jean
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Jeremy Ruggles March 5, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Hey Wong,

I completely agree with you. My favorite successful internet marketers whom I follow talk like they would in real life. They don’t get technical and make you chuckle sometimes with how they say certain things. It can really add personality to your writing and make it stand out from the rest.

Not to mention writing will come much more natural to you if you talk like you were talking to someone face to face.

Great Blog… I love it…

See you again soon,

~Jeremy
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Wong Chendong aka The Bad Blogger
Twitter:
March 6, 2012 at 9:01 am

Hey Jeremy, thanks for coming by my blog, and reading my stuff. Anyway.. not just you had heard your favorite successful internet marketers said, but I too had heard those top copywriters said the same thing write as though you were talking :)
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Jordasche Kingston March 7, 2012 at 8:15 am

I agree, too. I write like I talk, and like you said, I edit out anything unnecessary afterward. Totally agree about attempting to develop a second voice, too. HAHA. I only have time for the one voice I have – teehee. Great article, thank you for sharing. I’ll be back to read more of your posts.
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Wong Chendong aka The Bad Blogger
Twitter:
March 13, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Well, I too had only one voice, unless I had the ability to be a cartoon voice over, or else I can only talk and write the way I am… but anyway, thanks for coming by my blog, and hope to see you around on my blog soon :)
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Beth March 12, 2012 at 9:03 pm

I really like this part… “The author’s reason for not writing like we speak is that she’ll include too many um’s, ah’s”… Funny but makes seems. I wonder who will be interested to read something with lots of um’s and ah’s. Imagine reading a single page where almost half of the content is filled with these items. That’s pretty crazy!
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Wong Chendong aka The Bad Blogger
Twitter:
March 13, 2012 at 9:02 pm

That is why there is a edit button to edit it later :)
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Beth March 14, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Absolutely right! But like what I’ve said, what if it um’s and ah’s reached almost a huge percentage of the content. You’ll end up editing everything, leaving nothing! lol
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Wong Chendong aka The Bad Blogger
Twitter:
March 14, 2012 at 11:10 pm

LOL… if that really happen to someone… then my best advice is tell him or her to go to a college that teaches them how to speak first before he or she even started writing the first post or article online….
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Remy April 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I’ll tell you why I love this article.
Because it gives me back believe that one day I will actually write my own blog!

I lost my faith in Internet mostly because it looks so “correct” or “adult”.
I want to speak freely. And express my ideas. And the only way to do it – is TO SAY WHAT I THINK.
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Wong Chendong aka The Bad Blogger
Twitter:
April 3, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Well… just like this blog… say what I like to say

Anyway… I’m glad you pass the hard times and finally get through in speaking freely and expressing your own idea :)
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