Independent Writing from an Independent Mind

Open discussion about writing and reading

Just how good can extemporaneous writing be?

I think we all have those times when we have something in mind that we dwell on and we don’t really write down. And then there are times when we write a lot but just scrolling sprawling ideas down on paper but not really ever putting these into a proper written form. And then there are the times when you write as you think, by that I mean during the thought process. I tend a call this extemporaneous writing.

I got the whole idea for the name of extemporaneous writing from thinking back to when I was still in high school and was a member of the Future Business Leaders of America. I was a few times representing my school in extemporaneous speaking contests. Basically, contestants get a topic written down on a card and you get about 3 to 5 minutes to think and put a short speech together. I excelled at these kinds of things when it was just speaking. Writing while thinking reminds me of the exact activity. It can be fun. And it can be frustrating. But I think there is something innately productive in it. Some people would disagree, as the writing sometimes can come out as a rambling mess. But I see it as productive in the fact that it is at least getting something down on paper. The thoughts don’t just stay in your head and they don’t just stay on some scratch that nobody ever reads.

Yes, extemporaneous writing can resemble a drunk man talking to himself, and in my case sometimes that’s exactly what it is. However, sometimes serendipity steps in and it’s a thing of beauty.

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Just how good can extemporaneous writing be?

I think we all have those times when we have something in mind that we dwell on and we don’t really write down. And then there are times when we write a lot but just scrolling sprawling ideas down on paper but not really ever putting these into a proper written form. And then there are the times when you write as you think, by that I mean during the thought process. I tend a call this extemporaneous writing.

I got the whole idea for the name of extemporaneous writing from thinking back to when I was still in high school and was a member of the Future Business Leaders of America. I was a few times representing my school in extemporaneous speaking contests. Basically, contestants get a topic written down on a card and you get about 3 to 5 minutes to think and put a short speech together. I excelled at these kinds of things when it was just speaking. Writing while thinking reminds me of the exact activity. It can be fun. And it can be frustrating. But I think there is something innately productive in it. Some people would disagree, as the writing sometimes can come out as a rambling mess. But I see it as productive in the fact that it is at least getting something down on paper. The thoughts don’t just stay in your head and they don’t just stay on some scratch that nobody ever reads.

Yes, extemporaneous writing can resemble a drunk man talking to himself, and in my case sometimes that’s exactly what it is. However, sometimes serendipity steps in and it’s a thing of beauty.

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