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Friday, July 22, 2011


Photo courtesy of PublicDomainPictures.net

I have a secret.

Actually, it's not really a secret to anyone who knows me personally.  But, to anyone reading this who has never met me, this might come as a surprise.

As much as I love words and writing and chatting online, I am very quiet and shy in person.  I get extremely nervous when I have to talk, even when I'm talking with people I know well. 

I get so nervous that when I was a young girl, I used to wish I was mute -- physically unable to speak -- because then no one would expect me to talk!  I wished I could just walk around with a pad of paper and a pencil, communicating with others that way. 

Every once in a while, I still wish that.  Though now I'd probably choose a laptop instead... :)

For me, the internet has been a really good thing.  I can easily share my thoughts and feelings with others online, things that would otherwise stay bottled up inside me. 

I have made many friends online with people I never would've met without the internet.  Even if I'd come across them in my daily life, I would've been too scared to start up a conversation and get to know them.  I would've missed out on so many friendships with so many wonderful people.

Though my difficulty with talking has many disadvantages, it does have a few benefits.  Since I spend little time talking myself, that means I spend a lot of time listening to others instead.  I believe that listening to people -- really paying attention to what they are saying -- is important.  It helps me to better understand others.   And people enjoy being heard. :)

I also wonder: if I had spent more time talking throughout my life, would I still be as interested in the written word as I am now?  Maybe.  Or maybe not.  As it is, I am fascinated by words on paper or computer screens, whether I'm reading others' words or writing my own.  I like being able to communicate without ever having to make a sound.  It's part of what makes me me.

I've been thinking about this subject a lot recently.  Ideas for a character who doesn't speak, even though physically able to do so (a condition called "selective mutism"),  have been buzzing around my head for awhile now -- the problems such a character could encounter, and how he or she might react to and solve those problems.  I definitely could sympathize with such a character.  Maybe it's just me, but I think my ideas could create an interesting story for kids.  Hopefully, I'll start getting those ideas written down soon -- along with all the other story ideas that are filling up my brain! :)

How about you?  Are you a talker, or do you prefer to keep quiet much of the time?  What is your favorite way to express yourself?


  1. I feel pretty special because I remember a car ride that you became quite talkative and told me quite a bit about yourself. :)

  2. I remember that, too, Jeanne! :) (Maybe it was because we'd gone through a near-death experience together, LOL!)

    I do have an easier time talking with people one on one, rather than in a group, but it's still hard for me.

  3. I have ALWAYS preferred to respond to people in writing rather than to talk to them. I believe I come off at least 15 IQ points smarter than when I'm forced to speak. I guess that's why I'm in print media rather than broadcast. One of my media friends feels the exact opposite way. He stumbles over the computer keys, can't spell well, and feels like he can't get the words out right "on paper." He's far more comfortable on the radio airwaves, which would terrify me!

  4. It's good to know I'm not the only one, Laura! :)

    I, too, feel much smarter when I can write rather than talk. Many times, if I have to talk "spontaneously" (with no time to plan out what I'm going to say), my mind will go blank, and then I'll just sit there, turning red and mumbling, "Uh...."