Imagine you were naturally really good at hockey but pretty mediocre, almost bad, at baseball. It is probably safe to assume that most of you reading this would enjoy playing hockey a lot more than playing baseball. Now imagine you were mediocre, almost bad, at speaking. Not in the sense that you were shy or nervous speaking in front of strangers or big groups, but if you were actually bad at speaking. Well that was how I felt for the longest time. I felt that I was a terrible speaker because of my stutter and if we look at it from a normative point of view, I am not a good ‘technical’ speaker. Sure, sometimes I make good points or get my point across accurately, but in terms of fluency, guys like Barack Obama (a truly gifted speaker) blow stutterers like me out of the water. This is why I took such a liking to writing at a younger age (my hockey to baseball).
I have always enjoyed writing, and it stems from being fluent in writing. I can write anything I want to and I will never stutter writing or reading it, and the reader won’t stutter either. For example, after looking it over a couple (…ten) times, I can read or write”pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” completely fluently. In contrast, trying to say that word aloud would tie the tongues of the best of us, but I don’t know if I would ever really get it out fluently (if you are wondering, that ridiculously long word, in short, is a lung disease). This is why I took such a liking to writing and why I worked so hard at improving my writing skills. It’s a matter of making sure that I am really good at something that I can do a LOT better than the thing I am worse at (you may now pass judgement towards my writing skills after that gem of a sentence).
Ask anybody who knows me, or has even had a conversation with me and they will likely tell you that I talk a lot, and to be honest, I do, and not just for a guy with a stutter. So it should come to no surprise to you that I am able to write even more than I can talk. My 7-10 page university papers were always a solid 10 pages (after I cut out two or three pages). I love to write, and it is because I can. It is becoming increasingly hard to explain as I am writing this but it should also be starting to become increasingly clear as I am rambling on about this being hard to explain. What I mean is that I could write 10,000 pages about how I love writing more than I love speaking, and I can do so because it is easier than speaking.
The scariest part about all this, and you can all be grateful here that I do have a stutter, is imagining if I was able to ramble on talking the way I can ramble on writing. I’d never shut up.
I’ll try and wrap it up here but I hope that you can get a sense that I love writing and I love being able to write so much easier than I can speak. It really shouldn’t come as a surprise though. Just as the kid who can skate circles around his opponents can’t swing a bat, I am tying up my skates because nobody really likes to strikeout.