do verbal skills decline as writing skills improve?

is it just me, or have others noticed how hard it is to talk? over the years i've noticed a sharp decline in my verbal skills. it seems that i process thoughts differently than i processed them in my pre-writing days. now conversation comes to me as an idea which is then followed by brain text, followed by a choice of text such as what i might want to edit or change, then the realization that people are waiting for a reply -- all of this before trying to spit out a coherent sentence. it's as if my brain is now much more equipped to deal with text rather than live conversation.

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I suck with small talk. Always have. Problem is, if I get bored, I just want to screw with people and say inappropriae stuff to study the looks on their faces...
My thing is that I'll see the image in my head, and I'll think of text to describe it instead of the simple noun for it. So when I'm trying to say the word 'scissors' I'll be thinking the image, and then my brain will run through adjectives, like "shiny" or "pointy" or something until it finally gives up and supplies the mundane name for the item. And I've been doing it much more, now that I'm writing so much more. My oldest son and I were having a conversation in which I failed to properly name several things and couldn't focus a concept and he started teasing me. "And here, you're the writer," he said. Well, yeah, and if I could have written him a note about it, I'd have been fine.
I can hear you now--giving your son good motherly advice:

"Don't run with that shiny pointy or you'll poke your blue orb out."

My mom used to tell me that all the time.
Sadly, it's even worse than that. "Don't you know... move around... uh, fast... with those.. um... [mimics scissor motion]... shiny. You know. things because you'll... why are you laughing?"

They used to supply the word for me. Now they have fun waiting to see how long it'll take me to come up with the right word.
You've no idea how much it lifts my spirits to know that I'm not alone in this. I thought I'd been paid a midnight visit by the word thief, the number of times these days I hear myself say 'Ummmm....'.
it IS a relief to find others are dealing with the same problem.
toni,

haha! that's EXACTLY how it is. i think we're so used to searching our brain for something descriptive and unique that the common word eludes us or comes to us last. and sometimes the common word never comes to me and i have to use shiny and pointy. or a description: use to cut paper. make a scissor motion with fingers.
Anne -- my verbal skills have not declined (and I do my best to keep everything oral in top form), but there is something enchanting, enticing, and, I admit, preferable about texting. I have been dear friends with Donna McCooke in the UK for several years - although we have never met face to face -- we chat for hours on line every week or so. Despite having microphones, we prefer text. The conversation flows more easily, there is not cross talk nor awkward pauses....gaps of silence are not uncomfortable. Plus, I have an American accent and she has a thick Irish accent -- I don't have to say :"what? Can you say that again, slower?" when she is typing. Also, there is a delightful interplay in text, a creative prose interrelationship that develops. I agree that brain text, with edit options, has become my preferred thought mode. I keep my verbal skills sharp by speaking to strangers, and working retail to augment spotty author income.
burl, i have to say i think that's part of my problem. i've gotten so i prefer socializing online and by email. probably for the very reasons you mention!
I noticed this in myself after only about a year or two of being in this whole writing game. After developing my inner editor's muscles, I couldn't stop the bastard stepping in during conversations, often having three possible versions of a sentence surface in my mind at the same time. I've even made up words that don't exist because I was trying to say two at once. And now that I'm not wasting my brain cells away in nightclubs on the weekend, I also find myself preferring online socialising. I'd feel a little guilty about doing this if guilt was a driving force for me, but it's not. So anyone that tells me otherwise can go to hell.

Actually, I probably wouldn't that say to their face, just send them an email. :)
The really horrible part is that when I'm with real live people, I spend way too much time telling them all about my online friends. I'm not quite sure what they must think of me by now, but, since they did see live actual people come to pick me up for a weekend not long ago, at least they know these people really exist!
norby,
haha! i run into this with family. i'm a recovering message board addict, and i always used to talk about my board/forum friends.

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