Why are we compelled to communicate our experiences, thoughts, and beliefs either in writing or orally, in speech? Both writing and oral speech are, in a simple sense, ways of managing and communicating knowledge to a listener or reader. For scholars, such as Walter Ong, oral communication is primary, precisely because it is more immediate; written communication fixes meaning and is, therefore, always secondary to the spoken word. This debate demands a recognition of our own biases and preferences. How do you prefer to communicate?
Maybe more importantly, why do you want to communicate with a listener or reader? Do you have a story, a life experience in you that is calling out to be expressed? Are you compelled to reflect on the human condition? Do you love the sound of words, the way they fall, tumble, or trip off your tongue? Are you compelled to put these words into verse or song?
Here is one of my favourite quotes, which speaks to why I write:
“What do we understand to be the boundaries of our neighbour: I mean that which he as it were engraves and impresses himself into and upon us? We understand nothing of him except the change in us of which he is cause — our knowledge of him is like the hollow space which has been shaped” (Friedrich Nietzsche, Daybreak 118).
From this, then, you might realize that I write (rather than speak) not simply to understand the human condition, but to understand the boundaries and limits of our shared relationship, one with the other. More specifically, I write to understand and give meaning to the “hollow space” inside myself and others.
How do you like to communicate? Why do you feel the need to write or present your words, ideas, and stories to the world? Share your thoughts here…..