Talking When Nobody’s Listening

My mum has this habit of talking to people who aren’t in the same room.  Oh, they usually begin by being in the same room: after all, she’s not senile.  The conversation will begin perfectly normally: a discussion of whatever quilt she’s working on, the tv show she’s currently watching, the nifty little thing she’s making for sis, or dad . . .

Then will come the inevitable call of nature, or the desire for a cuppa, or a furtive look in the pantry to see what delicious something my sister has baked that day.  I’ll leave the room with a quick: “Hang on, I’ll be back,” and the conversation will continue just as if I was still there.  In the background will be mum, chuntering away happily about something I can’t quite hear, while I raid the fridge and occasionally yell out: “I can’t hear you!”

She’ll keep talking anyway.  And when I walk back into the room there I am in the conversation again, as if I was there the entire time.

Or she’ll walk up the other end of the house to her quilting room while she’s still talking.  From the bowels of the house I’ll hear snatches of the conversation as it moves from quilting room to bedroom, and eventually, back down the hall to me.  Then I’ll be inducted back into the conversation.  No worries.

It’s fascinating.  A motherhood talent along the same lines as having eyes in the back of your head.


Very well: to extrapolate.  Blogging feels something like that.  I spy hits on the counter with my beady and sometimes feverish little eye; maybe two or three a day.  (You in the back- I heard that snigger.)  But by and large, it feels kinda like talking when nobody’s listening.  And in just the same way that mum doesn’t seem to mind, I find that I don’t, either.  Sometimes you just have to talk, even if nobody’s listening.

To extrapolate even further . . .

Writing as a whole is a bit like talking when nobody’s listening.  Even the big authors had that at first.  You write what you write regardless of who sees it, or what they think about it, or if you’ll ever be published.  You write because you love it.  You craft, and you learn, and you grow.  And you keep going because you know that somewhere, sometime, someone will be listening again.

Readers will always be a big part of what we do: after all, we write for them as much as for ourselves.  Well, we’re readers ourselves.  But sometimes you just have to keep talking even when nobody’s listening.

2 thoughts on “Talking When Nobody’s Listening

  1. Beautiful thoughts, wgingell. (I looked for your name, but I couldn’t find it anywhere.) I especially resonated with your final extrapolation, about writing because we love it, etc. Nice post. Thank you! From a fellow AW-er

    Liked by 1 person

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