I guess I was destined to be a writer since, as far back as I can remember, I have always found it easier to express myself in writing than orally. I think there are several possible reasons for this. Firstly, it could be down to the fact that I have an inner confidence hidden behind a façade of low self-esteem. I know that my writing is good and, whilst I’m not one to brag, as a writer it’s important to have self-belief in your work. Writers get many knock-backs and it’s only by having that inner belief that you find the tenacity to continue in what you’re doing.
Secondly is the fact that with the written word your imagination can run riot and you can have as many attempts as it takes to perfect what you want to put across. The use of a good thesaurus is also invaluable. Sometimes when I’m writing I know that there is a word that captures precisely what I want to say, but I can’t quite recall it. So, for the time being, I’ll use a word that I’m not totally satisfied with. Then usually, by either consulting a thesaurus or returning to the piece of work later, I can find that word. I can also proofread my work after my brain has had a chance to rest so that I can approach it afresh. This gives me the opportunity to correct any mistakes. In speech, on the other hand, if you drop a clanger you can’t scrub it out. When I was younger I was forever ‘putting my foot in it’. Thankfully, nowadays I don’t do that so much, but I still wouldn’t feel confident addressing a room full of people.
Thirdly, I’m not always too good at coming up with ideas when under pressure, but I have a powerful subconscious, which tends to spring to life when I am more relaxed. I feed my subconscious with the right influences by immersing myself in the particular genre or writing style that I am producing and also by carrying out research. This helps me to ‘get in the zone’. For example, if I have to write a comedy piece, I will read work by others that is in a similar tone and style. By doing this I find that my ideas start to flow. If I have to express my ideas verbally I usually prefer to rehearse what I am going to say rather than share my spontaneous thoughts.
Maybe it’s something to do with being creative, but I find that in order to come up with good ideas I have to sometimes push the boundaries a little. This means that I often brainstorm to myself before I arrive at something workable. It can entail coming up with some wacky ideas initially, but I put them all down on paper because these help to feed my imagination further so that I can eventually hit on the right one.
I would be interested to know whether you also find it easier to express yourself in writing or whether you make a good orator as well. Please feel free to share your comments below.