Writing It Down In Advance Is Allowed

I watched a dear friend give a speech recently that she tried to deliver “from the heart.” She ended up saying things that were imprecise and unhelpful. She wishes she had written the speech down in advance.

Paper is not the enemy of the heart. I’m not sure where we got the idea that words spoken but not written carry greater authenticity than those penned in advance, but it’s not a useful idea. As if the unfiltered product of whatever is going on in our head and heart in the present moment is more meaningful than something we might devise with time and deliberation several moments–even days–in advance.

Writing it down in advance allows you to be spontaneous if the moment takes you. It is said by people who worked on the “I Have A Dream” speech with Martin Luther King, Jr. that none of the dream language was actually in the draft King had in front of him. It had been in earlier drafts, but he removed it. However, in the moment, somebody called out, “Tell ’em about the dream, Martin!” And off he went. I suspect having words on paper allowed the space for King to improvise.

Writing it down in advance is allowed.

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