Painfully shy, and uncomfortable in groups, I hardly spoke in public until I was twenty-five years old. Almost every sentence spoken aloud was preceded by long, silent rehearsals in my mind: what the words would be; where the emphasis would lie; and what expression would best compliment the declaration. Imaginary conversations still go on in my head, long before – or often in place of – actual exchanges.
Though I have found my voice, I think the many years of silently telling stories in my mind – to entertain, defend myself, or support an idea or a position – gave me an advantage, when it comes to writing. Most days, I can talk about almost anything. Give me a writing prompt, I’ll give you five hundred words. On days when I can think of nothing to write about, often just putting up a photograph, or typing in any first sentence will be enough to get me rambling along in one-way conversation.
When I held a township position related to that cause, I wrote regular installments on the control of invasive species. I wrote bi-monthly stories for the Beaver Beacon for a couple years before I became the it’s owner. Then, for the next three years, I was the primary writer for that news-magazine. I have been writing this blog for more than six years. One of those years – 2016 – I wrote every single day. It seems I will never run out of words.
Though my blog has just under two thousand “followers,” they clearly do not all read everything I write. Usually, when I publish a piece on WordPress, fifty to one hundred people read it, before I publish another. That includes friends and family that see the link on social media, and others that see the link on “Beaver Island News on the Net.”
Two years ago, in the middle of my “writing every day” escapade, I started reading and recording my blog posts for our local radio station. Called “Island Reflections,” the bits play three times a day, five days a week. I don’t know how many people tune in to WVBI (the Voice of Beaver Island), but I have to guess that it is quite an expansion on my readership.
I may be confidant that I won’t run out of words; I’m starting to worry, though, that I may run out of stories. Lately, I’ve encountered a lot of evidence to that fact. Talking long distance on the telephone, I’ll start to tell someone about the weather, or a recent occurrence here, or a project I’m working on in the studio. “Oh, I know all about it,” I’ll hear, “I read your blog!” In conversation here, I’ll try to contribute a personal anecdote only to be interrupted with, “I heard you tell about that on the radio.” I started to mention a family member the other day only to be countered with, “Oh, your Grandpa Ted, yes, you wrote all about him.”
It makes me wonder…IS WRITING TAKING MY VOICE AWAY??