I can write, but I cannot speak. My mouth dislikes words, so I must resort to pen and pad. The flow of thought differs between speech and writing. When I write I tend to be alone. When I speak I tend to be surrounded. I do no like to be surrounded. Being surrounded makes my heart stutter. When I’m surrounded I fear that bad things will happen. This is why I write, to escape the onslaught of stares and judgements I imagine looming overhead. When I write I get to craft what is said. I’m aware that it will be read, but more often than not, what I write isn’t read in my presence. If it is, I tend to leave the room. What I write is mine, yes, but it isn’t really me on the page. My thoughts make their way to the page, they creep out of my mind and drip onto the page. There is a level of commitment required to make it to the end in writing, but the process is just that–process. It may never have definitive start and end points, there are always “opportunities for improvement,” but there are unavoidable points where what has been written must be submitted, when it must be opened up and exposed. While listening and reading are both consumptive, the later is tangible. People can physically mark it, they can classify it, it is solid. Even if there is a mistake, the mistake can be highlighted, flagged, changed. In speech some of this can be achieved via recordings, but there are few opportunities for change. I need these opportunities, I need to mold my thoughts, massage them and manipulate them. I need experimentation. I need it to be read. Writing is a dialogue, regardless of the form, it will be read and digested by other minds than that of the author. It has to be, otherwise what’s the point? It’s a slow dialogue, sometimes one-sided, sometimes rhetorical, sometimes entertaining. I need time, so I write.