Speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, Peter Robinson, describes how he crafted Reagan’s most famous speech, in an article for the New Criterion magazine.
The act of writing for Peter Robinson is a means of working out your thoughts. In this I entirely agree. I very occasionally look at the area of a blog post to see the number of drafts, and that’s when I have an idea or a view and need many drafts to enable me to say exactly what I mean. Here’s part of the final paragraph of his article.
“What can Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher teach us today? That words matter. That working out your thoughts in writing—painfully, laboriously, in draft after draft—still represents the best and highest form of reasoning. And that giving of speeches—a political act that remains essentially unchanged since at least the time of Pericles—is still an utterly indispensable tool of democratic governance.”
I don’t know whether this approach to developing an argument is taught at school, I’d certainly like to see it as part of the English language course.