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Sometimes I find myself in the position of having something to say, but with no one to say it to. Worse is the feeling that something should be said, but I’m just not sure what it should be. Silence is often golden but too much becomes oppressive. While it’s not the greatest character trait to ramble your every thought out loud to a willing, and sometimes unwilling, audience, it is a good practice to hear yourself express thoughts. I have become a proponent of journaling but not for the sake of documentation. For the sake of uncluttering my mind of thoughts and ideas. Writing my thoughts forces me to place them in a relatively linear narrative. Once laid out, it becomes easier to fit them into a bigger picture.
Journaling, however, is not the same as talking it out. Often when I am talking about a thought or idea I find myself anticipating questions even when my audience is silent. This causes me to fill in the gaps, sometimes on the fly. In many cases an idea that I thought was pure gold turns out to be impractical. It only took saying it out loud to reveal that. In 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, Steven Covey suggests, to the listener in the situation, to allow the speaker to speak as much as possible. This gives the listener the ability to get a fuller picture but also it allows the speaker to answer there own questions in many cases. Allowing the speaker to do this may result in them deciding their own idea is bad, without the listener having to be the bearer of bad news.
All of that is very interesting. But what if there was no listener? What if you were in a position to express yourself in some manner to someone, anyone, but there was no one there? I put a lot of thought into how I could sell my music. Ultimately, I realized that I didn’t even buy very much music myself anymore. I finally asked myself the question out loud: would I rather sell my music to the few people that I might convince to buy it, or would I rather have it available so that anyone could listen if they so desire?
Even if it’s merely a hand full of people that I may never receive any feedback or report on how they feel about it, I would rather it’s open to any potential audience than potentially no audience at all.
Silence Out Loud
written by Coty Davis