An article in Scientific American cited a study that showed people speak an average of around 16,000 words a day (men a little under, women a little over). Holy cow. I knew I could talk, but that much? Imagine what happens when I do one of my speaking engagements. Thirty minutes of mostly me talking. Whew.
This got me thinking. In less than a week I’ll speak more words than I need to complete a novel (say 85,000-100,000 words). Again. Holy cow. So WHY do I struggle to put just one or two thousand of those words down on paper each day? Apparently the words are rattling around in my head, all I have to do is let them out.
Okay, it is a wee bit trickier than that. I’d bet money that a significant percentage of my spoken words are borderline nonsense. And another segment could probably go without saying. And when I write, I want each word to be important–to build on the words before and support the words to follow. I want the right words.
Even so, I have to say reading about how many words people speak has encouraged me. Language is a bountiful, never-ending fountain. And now that I know how many words I throw out into the ether each day, I’m feeling more capable of putting some of the best of them down on paper.
Yup, I CAN write less than 10% of the words I speak daily. And maybe, by writing them down, I can save someone from having to hear me yammer.