“Writing is a way of talking without getting interrupted.” Jules Renaud
I am a shy person. Painfully shy, I should emphasize, now that I live in an another country and speak a second language I still don’t have a command of yet.
When I left Romania almost 15 years ago, I’d hoped that I would leave my timidity behind. As though using words in another language would give me courage to be bold. More opinionated.
I was so wrong about it. Speaking another language doesn’t change your personality. Doesn’t diminish your fears of being judged for what you say. Now “they” can judge you for speaking poorly, for bad grammar or misused verbs.
It may be just my insecurities, but some people tend to dismiss you as “just a immigrant” if you speak with an accent, and label you instinctively as “not very intelligent,” if you speak in short, simple sentences. It’s the curse of the foreigner. You develop a thick skin, eventually. Unless you’re a highly sensitive person, like I am.
So, you can imagine that I’d rather express myself in writing than in a group of people, even my close friends. People will still judge me for my choice of words and dismiss my writing, but I have the luxury of editing and re-editing what I put on paper. Or on the screen. I can polish a sentence a hundred times if I want to. And I do tend to obsess over a noun or a an adverb, more often than not.
I can’t afford that in a conversation without sounding really weird, now, can I?
Writing gives me the chance of finishing my train of thought. Crystalize an idea into a story. And savor any second of working at it.
Without getting interrupted.