The most obvious answer is that when I write in public, I don’t get nervous, my mouth doesn’t go dry, and I don’t trip over my words.
Seriously–I’ve been writing publicly for years! And not once have I ever been embarrassed at a B&N, self-conscious at a coffee shop, or tongue-tied at a library.
But the real reason that writing is better than speaking is because of the EDIT option.
Control Z, backspace, undo.
When you’re speaking, the words come out. And they stay out. And whatever you said is now out there. Any changes addressed at this point may only worsen things.
When you write, you get to work with the words. Manipulate them, make them pretty or purposeful or polite.
Or at least you should.
I’m off topic today…off manuscript and onto social media.
And I sure do wish people would use the power of writing for good.
I had a Facebook exchange the other day where I typed something, considered how it might sound, then rewrote it. And again.
Three times I had to edit my plea to get plowed.
Er, I mean my request for his services.
Shit, I need someone to clear my driveway!
How hard is that?
Oh wow, see? Once you go there…
People often expect me to be a good speaker because I’m a writer. Not just public speaking, but conversationally. Spoiler! I’m not. I think all my time at the keyboard controlling the final outcome is ruining my talking and words and stuff.
I guess my point today is to ask everyone who writes–whether it be 140 characters on Twitter, Facebook comments, or email exchanges, to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the backspace bar. Believe it or not, tone in text is not tacit. To be better understood, take a few moments to say what you mean. You are in control (z)!
Use your words for good.