Lifehacks: talking versus writing

I spend two hours every day talking to my mom and Dominique over
http://www.skype.com . I’ve come to look forward to these daily
conversations. When I stayed at Ayase Kokusai Hotel, I went to a
cybercafe just to keep in touch. Voice chats provide an immediacy far
beyond instant messaging or e-mail. My blog entries have become fewer
and fewer because I’ve already told my stories to the people who ask
me for personal updates the most. If I write before I talk to them,
the half-conversation is unnerving. These conversations end late at
night, and I have no time to write afterwards.

However, talking has its disadvantages. I don’t have to think about
what happened. I just have to relate it. I can stutter. I can ramble.
I can say things of no real lasting value. I can be lazy.

Writing requires more effort. I have to structure my thoughts. I have
to figure out what useful tidbit I can extract from events so that my
blog isn’t just some self-centered personal journal that makes
everyone feel a bit like a voyeur. Writing is slow, and the extra time
forces me to think about what I’m writing, perhaps gaining more
insights.

Conversation seems to be personality-centered. I can get away with
unpolished thoughts and trivial stories because the point of
conversation is conversing. On the other hand, writing—at least in my
point of view—is more idea-centered. When I write, I have to make
sense not only to people who are already interested in my life, but
also people who read this entry as part of something else, like the
RSS aggregator at http://pinoytechscene.mparaz.com . When I write, I
have to make sense most of the time.

As much as I enjoy talking to Mom and Dominique, then, I think it’s
better if I refocus on the written word.

What will happen if I do so? My mother will probably write me letters,
but I think my father is more comfortable with the immediacy of voice
chat. I like hearing my dad’s stories. They’re the kind that should be
told as soon as possible. E-mail creates distance, and probably won’t
do the stories justice.

People might also interpret this as me trying to distance myself from
them. It really isn’t. I think of this as creating knowledge,
something that will reach more people, something I can reflect on
later.

I write to find out how the words on my screen differ from the words
in my head. I write to discover questions and answers. Journal entries
give my day structure and keep me moving forward.