March 20, 2011

Talking to Yourself - Kimberley Payne

On The Word Guild discussion forum, Peter Black asked the question, “How many of us engage in the practice of talking out loud to ourselves? (I know I talk back to the radio and tv more than I ever did!) ~Is it something that comes naturally to us because we are accustomed (especially fiction writers, perhaps) to working out dialogue between characters? Perhaps inner conversations so easily become an outward thing with us (er, at least some of us). Hmm, could be dangerous!"

N. J. Lindquist answered, “Not only have I talked to myself pretty well all my life, but I've also discussed things with my dolls, stuffed toys, paper dolls, my children before they were born and when they were less than a year old, and my dogs. My family is used to hearing me talking and ignoring me - rather annoying when I'm actually talking to them. :-)”

Like N. J., Darlene Oakley talks to herself all the time. “I do this all the time. I talk to the radio too. Just don't start arguing with yourself. The good thing about talking to yourself is you're always right, you have a very attentive audience, and there's no chance of you being ignored! :-)”

Benjamin Collier shared, “I believe it was Tolkien's Gandalf who said of talking to one's self, "A habit of the old: they choose the wisest person present to speak to." Of course, I've had that habit for a while now and I'm only in my 20s - but I do have A.D.D. I use it to defend both sides of an argument, if I'm expecting to have a deep spiritual conversation with someone in the near future. It's also good for brainstorming and problem solving. I don't know how "normal folk" get along without it. :)”

Do you talk out loud to yourself? Has it helped you in your writing? Has it caused any embarrassing situations? Do share!


  1. Oh, yes I do, but more and more I'm finding that this is a dead end (or I'm telling myself things that are not true, i.e. "you dummy") so am talking to God instead. I think He likes the switch!

  2. I don't think I could cook without talking to myself, especially when trying a new recipe. This morning at church, though, I was in the washroom, washing my hands and talking to my friend who was in a stall. Someone else walked in and figured I was talking away to myself. Pretty funny.

  3. Interesting and fun post! Yes, in fact, I do talk out loud to myself. I find it very helpful when creating dialogue, but beyond that it can be embarrassing when you are carrying n a conversation and someone catches you!

  4. Bryan Norford6:30 am GMT-7

    I've always maintained that talking to myself provides intelligent conversation; it's not the first step to madness common response suggests.
    So why, as Tracy suggests, do we find it embarrassing to be caught at it? If so many do it, it must have real value.
    For myself, I sort out issues that concern me better out loud than a fuzzy thought overview. By speaking out loud, I can hear the objections more clearly.
    But really, the embarassment comes when our "intelligent" discussions are overheard, and we realize how stupid our conversation really is.
    After all, if someone overhears us, we are no longer talking to ourselves, are we?

  5. What a blessed relief! I thought I might be losing it—now, at least, I know I'm in good company. I now catch myself with my lips moving when I'm out on the street. I'm sure the people passing must think I'm one of those crazy old women. Does it help with my writing? I'm not sure, but it certainly helps me get perspective.

  6. Funny thing.... I read your posting the other day and meant to leave a comment then and didn't (that's not the funny thing)....

    Then I popped out to the library where I happened upon an interesting title on the used book sale shelf.

    "Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself', by Alan Alda (otherwise known as Hawkeye Pearce of the renowned Mash TV series).

    That's the funny thing... I just read your posting, and then here's a book by Alan Alda admitting he talks to himself right on the front cover!

    BTW, I'm always talking to myself or the Lord..... I do get funny looks when I'm sitting in the car seemingly alone, chattering away. (usually praying or working out aloud some idea I'm pondering).


Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.