The older I grow, the more I listen to people who don’t talk much.
― Germain G. Glidden
When I was growing up, I was as quiet as falling leaves… only not as poetic as that, because I was terribly awkward, too. I was a timid thing who often would just smile and nod during conversations to avoid any unnecessary verbiage. Others told me I was too shy, and it didn’t ever take much to make me blush. The bossy kids would usually be friends with me because I would play their games and wouldn’t put up too much fuss (except for this one time when this cheeky little chica started making snarky comments about the funny-looking girl during games in the gym. I may have been the quiet kid, but I knew a bully when I saw one, and I didn’t put up with that very well).
That being said, the gift of gab was never bestowed on me (only in very specific circumstances). I’m not half so quiet as I was when I was a smaller person (my job requires me to be fairly talkative… sometimes more than I prefer) , but there’s still no great blue streak in my blood. Even when I try to be talkative, my words don’t come out near like I mean. A thought that was eloquent and clear in my head leaves my mouth in a muddle, smooth as a porcupine.
This, my friends, is why I write. I don’t claim to be a master wordsmith, but I certainly convey my thoughts with much more clarity on a page than I do in spoken form. Speech class was the most terrifying endeavor of my entire education thus far (I went to see The King’s Speech in the theater when it first came out, just to gear myself up for the coming terror. Great movie, by the way…made me feel much better). I got a “B” overall in that class, but I suffered a mini-heart attack every Thursday night because of it.
Some folks are wonderfully talented at crafting their speech to be meaningful, and I often envy the ones who are able to do this. But sometimes people talk a lot without really saying anything. I avoid this by working out my thoughts in written form. My hope, then, is that I say more with less words.