Anyone who knows me personally, understands that I sometimes have a challenge speaking as a result of multiple seizures I experienced growing up. My speech pattern began as the classic stutter, repeating the same word over and over in elementary and middle school. I became frustrated and self conscious whenever I was called on in class for fear of not being able to communicate clearly.
Around this time, I made the decision to shut down to a degree.
–I decided to be seen and not heard.
–I decided to follow the adage: It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.
While I understand now that I’m NOT a fool, growing up in middle school, everyone simply wants to fit in and not stand out. My speech pattern made me stand out and to this day I’m still self conscious about it. I’m sure you’ve heard the other adage:
When one muscle is weak another one steps up and compensates.
It’s happened for me with my eyesight and my hearing. I have severe nearsightedness and my hearing has seriously overcompensated. I’ve always had exceptional hearing. The same goes for writing.
–I’ve always taken so much pleasure from writing.
–Give me an essay exam and I will excel.
Here’s an example:
When I was attending Southern Connecticut State University, I enrolled in many history classes as history has always been a favorite topic of mine. During one semester, I took a Native American History course and a Connecticut History course. For the first exam, we studied the same material. In The Native American class, we were given a multiple choice true/false exam. In my Connecticut History class we were given a five question essay exam.
–Multiple Choice results: C+
–Essay results: A-
I like to say I let my writing speak for me.
I think that’s the biggest reason I pursued writing as a career choice for such a long period. I knew where my talents were and as much as I tried I simply couldn’t convince anyone close to me that I could do that. I proved everyone wrong in the early to mid 1990s when I began to find success in the in the small press SF/F (Science Fiction/Fantasy) market. Being published several times and eventually being asked by several of my frequent editors who picked up my stories whether I was working on novel/novella length pieces gave me the confidence I needed to continue writing.
I still have three unpublished novels that I work on with an editor I met in the 1990s. Not doing much with them at the moment, as blogging has taken over. In a weird connection, one of the editors I worked with has taken a similar diversion as I have with Wisdom and Life. Both of us wrote dark fantasy in the 90s and we both found ourselves in the midst of an awakening during the 2000s. He is now back in touch with me through Wisdom and Life and we are now collaborating on a new project regarding this blog.
Once again, the connectedness that exists through everything has proven itself evident in this event. Let me just tell you how shocked I was six months ago when this editor contacted me. When he mentioned that he’d been inconspicuously following Wisdom and Life for months before contacting me I was once again surprised; but what really shocked me more than anything else was what he said next:
The reason I decided to contact you today is that after reading your blog for some time I realize that we are on the same path. Like you, Chris I’ve traveled a similar road. Reading The Itch is what convinced me to reach out.
He went on to discuss his own awakening. To respect his privacy I won’t detail what it was that caused him to “remove his spiritual blinders.” Suffice it to say it was nothing physically or emotionally detrimental.
We are still in touch and he is helping me with several projects I have in the hopper.
Writing has been a part of my life for over forty years because I had to find a way to communicate other than speaking. I felt and still feel self conscious about verbalizing my thoughts which is why I continue to feel that I’d rather have my writing to my speaking for me.
Do you have a challenge that one muscle has compensated for?
Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.