Speech vs. Script

writing

I need to write. Writing calms me. There are some thoughts, some fears, anxieties, hopes, and dreams, that cannot properly be expressed through speech and sound. Sound leaves room for misinterpretation, for deception, but there is something sacred about the written word that cannot be devalued. Script survives the test of time, while speech is lost moments after it is uttered. What’s more is that the written word does not require someone on the receiving end. Script is for the benefit of the author, not the audience. Speech requires a listener or else it is meaningless, useless. Speech is therefore tainted, biased so to fit the audience. We change our dialect, our jargon, even our ideas to fit the receiver. Consequently, we lose meaning as our idea transfers from one person to the next and then we are left with incomplete thoughts not properly expressed. This is what we call “communication.”

Communication has never served me well. From an early age, I discovered that I held more value as a listener than a speaker. People never cared enough to hear my words, but they loved to have someone else listen to theirs. The problem is that the world is filled with talkers. Every single individual on this planet feels the need to talk, we start out learning to speak at a very young age. We want people to hear our voices, our opinions, our hopes and dreams; we want people to know us, to know that we are unique and we are not just background characters to some bigger scheme. But with the amount of speakers that there are in this world, we lack listeners. Nobody wants to sacrifice their own melody to listen to another’s tune. So instead we all spend our time shouting over each other, only pausing to catch our breath or collect our thoughts before we begin another interruption. And those who can shout the loudest, those who excel in getting their claims to be heard above others, we congratulate them. We say “What an excellent ‘communicator’.” But those who stutter, those who mumble or shy away from the conversation, we ostracize them for lacking basic communicative skills. The ones who lack speech or who do not enjoying the shouting matches like everyone else seems to, they learn to express themselves through other mediums; these people learn to speak in so many other ways, beautiful ways that put language to shame. These are the artists, composers, and writers.

As for me, I was never any good with a paintbrush and music by my hand was only so-so; but oh what I could do with a blank page and a 26-letter alphabet. I don’t pretend to be a good writer, heaven knows I’ll never be a great one, but I’ve made it far enough to know that I must be more than fair. Because writing to me is more than just an artistic expression, it is my only expression. In a world where few care to listen, and even those few do not listen well enough to understand, the blank sheet of paper is the only thing that I will waste my thoughts on. The paper never talks back, never interrupts, never contradicts; it offers itself completely to our words, always the listener for those of us who never get the chance to speak.