DRAFTING SKILLS - THE 4 PEOPLE YOU NEED TO BE
How do I write like Justice Kirby? Are people born better writers than others?
One of the most difficult skills to master as a lawyer is good writing. It is a skill learned over a lifetime and some might even say that it's an art form. Look at Lewis Carol, he was a master storyteller and knew the English language better than most authors in history, but even he died still trying to perfect Alice in Wonderland (which is a master piece in prose) - I heard he rewrote it over and over again. Learning how to write clearly and effectively is definitely a marathon, not a sprint.
Someone wise once told me that writing is about wearing the hats of 4 different people:
- There is the madman, which is what you are when you are frantically pulling ideas from every possible direction.
- Then there is the architect, which is about looking at the big picture and shaping your ideas.
- There is the carpenter when you actually start building the bloody thing.
- And then there is the judge. She sits back with a red pen and edits her work, writes comments to herself and critiques it.
Each person needs the other to function properly. The madman needs the judge to perfect the work but without the madman the judge wouldn't have anything to critique. Right now I am writing as a madman.
In my practice I have often found that my problems with writing have stemmed from letting one of my personas take centre stage. Like letting my judge free reign to critique my work so much that I can't even write any new ideas. Every time I try to write something my judge would instantly say 'this is @#$#$'. Or likewise letting my madman write whatever he feels like and then saying 'this is fine to publish'. My point is you have to let your creativity do its work before you can edit something.
Looking back over this blog post now there are things I would like to fix. My paragraphs could flow better if I refined my thoughts and added topic sentences, and there are some redundant phrases I could remove to make it flow. Also what is with all of those rhetorical sentences I have used? But if I hadn't just started writing I would have had no idea what to write about. I have no clue if anyone has learned something from this but if you have good luck to you and I will send my bill in the mail.