I have been asked from time to time "Why do you write so much in your journal?" The simple answer is, it's how I think. Without writing, or talking out loud to myself, I cannot clarify my thoughts enough to really be conscious. I go through the day on auto-pilot and who knows what will happen then. So I write, and I write and I write. As the words come out I can see what they are and what they mean, I can see what I'm thinking. Writing is better than talking to myself in most ways. It's better because it doesn't make you look like a complete lunatic they way constantly muttering to yourself does, and because it leaves a concrete record I can consult later when I'm wondering what in the heck I was thinking when I made some decision. Talking to myself is way faster though, mostly because I'm not all obsessed with spelling things correctly and having the words in the correct order. When I write I have to stop and fix things on the page, or screen. When I talk I just go "Pbbbbbthit!" and start over again. Sadly, chatting to oneself seems to be "wrong" for some reason I don't understand. I mean what is the problem with it? Sure some people who talk to themselves are nuts, and you can tell it by listening to their conversations with the air. They are incoherent. But if the words make sense, what's the big deal?
I don't have a filter in between my brain and my mouth. If I form a thought it's going to come out, right now most of the time. I am utterly unable to edit my words in the heat of conversation. I can do it here of course, just stop writing and go back and tweak things, it's simple. But in conversation I cannot do it. The words form in my mind and exit my mouth without the least bit of editing. If I do try to edit them I am silenced completely. There is just too much going on, people talk back to you in conversations and I have to process what they are saying, sunlight flashing off a car window makes me look at it, and there are extra noises all around in the world, cars passing, heels of shoes clicking on the floor as someone walks by, crows cawing and horns honking. I'm barely able to stand there and talk, but to actually edit the words is beyond me. Is is just me? I have the idea that most people can consider what they are about to say, look at it in their mind and make changes to it all on the fly while talking to others.
Even more incomprehensible is the way most people seem to know what is going to be offensive. I can see the big ones coming and shut up, racist slurs or sexist comments and things like that. But more subtle offensive words or just things that are going to be annoying to people, I don't see those. In fact, even after I realize I have somehow offended someone I don't usually have a clue as to what I said that caused the offense. People who know me and have gotten used to my ways just shake their heads, those who don't know me very well usually stop talking to me then. When I try to discover what I've said wrong I almost never get an answer, and when I do get an answer, I wonder still why it's offensive. I just don't get people for the most part I guess.
On rare occasions, when the outside conditions are just right, quiet and peaceful, and there is only one other person to speak with, and there is a very specific subject about which to talk, then I can pull off thinking before I talk. I actually did this in a conversation with my sister when I was on vacation recently. It didn't last long but it was quite different for me to be able to think about what I was saying. I liked it and I wish I could do it all the time.
I could label this as an Aspergers trait and call it good, but what does that get me? Nothing but a nice label to pin on my jacket that says, "WARNING! May blurt out inappropriate comments at random times in conversation." Not all that useful actually.
I used to think I could learn to do better, and I have, a little bit, but it's still a huge problem for me. I make all sorts of decisions without actual thought when I'm put on the spot in a conversation. It's really hard to say, wait a moment please while I process your request by sitting down and writing in my journal for ten minutes. Usually that causes people to lose interest in talking to me. Actually I've never tried exactly that, but when I pause and try to form words silently in my mind it is much slower than writing them down, and so the effect is the same. I get one word formed in my mind and a thousand distractions erase it and I have to go back and get it again, and then it's gone again, and finally I get the second word I want and the distractions take that one away too. So I end up spewing stream of consciousness stuff out of my mouth and make commitments to do things I don't want to do, go places I don't want to go and eat things I don't want to eat. Because after all, I said I would do, go and eat and changing my mind is offensive. Which I also don't get. I am not offended when someone changes their mind about something they were going to do with me, it's fine. If you say you are going to go camping with me and decide at the last second not to go I don't much care, if it's something I wanted to do I'll do it without you. If, as is likely about 90% of the time, it was something I agreed to do with you in the midst of some conversation that got out of my control and I really did not want to do it anyway, well that's good too, I won't go and I won't be offended.
All of this is why I've always wanted to be a hermit. I can sit and talk with myself, or write, or read, and no one gets angry with me for saying the wrong things or doing the wrong things or for not being offended with them at the slights of others toward them, which is one I'll never get!