Friday, March 8, 2019

Why I Write

People who know me will tell you I don't talk much. If you meet me, you will likely say the same. I don't know why that's how I am, but it's always been that way, and I'm okay with it. It makes things better for me. A couple of things come to mind as to why this is. These are best expressed in quotes from people who are far better known than I can ever hope to be:
Once the words are spoken, something may be broken. – Stephen Sondheim
and more famously,
The moving finger writes and having writ / moves on nor all your piety nor wit / can call it back to cancel half a line / nor all your words wash out a word of it – Omar Khayyam
 Maybe I mouthed off to my father or something, when I was so young I cannot remember it now, or maybe it's just something innate. Whatever the reason, it's true; when you speak and somebody's around to hear it, you can't take it back. I suppose that's enough to make anyone think before they shoot off their mouth, but there are far too many people who don't get it. Maybe I just get it.

I learned how to write when I was six or seven. It was a struggle, and my handwriting has always been crap. To this day, I cannot write legibly in cursive, but I do pretty well with printing. I do even better with a keyboard, but no matter what medium I choose, any time I say something in writing, I can stop and think about it. Thanks to the invention of erasers, correction tape, and the backspace and delete keys, if I think I've said something I shouldn't have, I can fix it.

There is, of course, a catch. If you shoot off your mouth, there's no way to disown it, but once someone reads something of yours, and has the means to preserve it, there's no way to disown it, either. Ever. As such, if you do write something down, you had better be damn sure you wanted to say it, and you'd best know what you are talking about. Regrettably, the same people who like to run their mouths constantly fall into this trap. Spend ten minutes looking at social media, and this becomes evident.

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