I haven’t entered a writing contest in ages. Then I came across Editor Unleashed/Smashwords “Why I Write” essay contest and gave it a go. The popular ranking is now open for you to rank the many submitted essays. You can vote with 1 to five stars where 1 is terrible and 5 is excellent. To rank a story after you read it, click “Rate Thread.”
I hope you don’t think title sounds cheesy. I tried to be different and play on “Olly olly oxen free.”
Folly, Folly and Fumble-Free
I trip over spoken words more often than the worst football player fumbles the football. Not only do my thoughts and lips fail to synchronize, but also when they do, people sometimes gape as soon as they hear nasally sounds stumble out of my mouth. They mistake “ride” for “wide” and “rare” for “wear.” With writing, I don’t dodge words beginning with “R” in fear of committing “W” follies.
That’s because I have an accent. No, not a foreign country accent — I wish. I was born and bred where the West begins in Fort Worth. Nope, it’s not a Texas accent or even a Southern one. It’s a deaf accent. This accent sounds muffled or like someone who has a cold with a touch of monotone thrown in. Sometimes I miss sounds especially when I talk too fast. When I’m trying to sound excited, my voice grows louder.
In writing, I can have any accent I want. Readers read whatever I wish them to read. Fumbling doesn’t happen unless I do it on purpose. No nasal accent appears in my written thoughts unless a character suffers from a cold or can’t hear like me.
Writing lets me be part of the conversation. It lets me listen like a good listener should. Furthermore, I don’t dominate a written conversation.
Sure, sometimes like my speech, I accidentally type “fill” instead of “feel” or “your” instead of “you’re.”
Yes, sometimes my fingers and brain fall out of sync. At least, they don’t have the added weight of an unusual accent not associated with any country. (Although one person thought I was from France, and that was a nice change from the deaf accent.)
I love reading comments from readers like:
“Great article and a timely reminder!”
“Great specifics on how to maximize xyz.”
“I never thought about that!”
These words of praise tell me I have done my job of sharing new and useful bits of information, something I work to do in nonfiction writing.
Sometimes readers even say I made them laugh. I treasure that.
Writing puts me on even ground with the world. If anyone fails to understand what I wrote, it’s my fault. Bad writing is in my control. My speech is out of my control.
The best part comes when I reread what I wrote after publication. I do this to learn from the editor’s editing, not to admire my work. Sometimes I am in awe and ask, “Did I really write that?”
Those moments clear away any doubts I may have about my ability to be a writer, at least until next time, as situations inevitably arise that make me doubt my writing ability again.
When I speak, too often, strangers look at me and are clearly baffled. They judge me on the sound of my words instead of the information I share or the questions I pose.
When I write, no one judges me except by the quality of my writing, as it should be.
And that’s why I write.
Why do you write?