Saturday, July 19, 2008

Did I Stutter?

I am a social being for the most part, but at times I can become deathly shy or self-conscious, like when meeting new people I hope to impress, or when I'm presenting a workshop or class, bringing out a kind of super-chatty, "look at me" style of conversation that is over-eager and over-compensating and makes me slap myself on the head later for not being more myself.

When I get like that, I pull out this little line to save my ass: "I'm a writer, not a talker."

Now I get to use a brand new line: "I have a new baby" to explain away everything from shyness to my newly acquired stutter. Days and even weeks after giving birth I stuttered so significantly I worried that I had suffered a small stroke during labor, unaware that this was just my brain on total sleep deprivation. Even my worst night's sleep--college cramming, insomnia or stress related--didn't compare to the constant waking of a newborn baby every couple hours or less. Being articulate simply was not an option.

The only thing to cast aside my fears that I had lost a crucial set of brain pathways in the birth process was that I could still string together intelligible sentences when writing. The words still flowed, even though writing a paragraph was a major achievement.

As I've always said--thank god for writing, or I'd be a terrified mute with absolutely no self-awareness.


At 4:27 AM, Blogger Ellen said...

What a gorgeous photo! And yes, sleep deprivation is a bear.

Also, there is a hormonal component. When I was pregnant with my first, I heard a report on the radio saying that women actually lose IQ points while pregnant. "Great," I said to my husband, "now I'm fat AND stupid."

The good news? The IQ points all come back within months of giving birth.

Glad you're writing, Jordan!


At 3:48 PM, Blogger Maryanne Stahl said...

what Ellen said.

sleep deprivation nearly undid me. but then, I wasn't writing. so glad you are.

and that picture is so beautiful!


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