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June Converse

Thriving After Trauma - Author and Writing Coach

My Mouth and My Brain

“The words fell out of my mouth without my brain straining a muscle.”

I wrote the above sentence when one my characters said something mean and nasty and f*cking hilarious.

My writing friend, that wonderful technicality wizard, struck the line from the manuscript. She said, “Words cannot form without the brain first engaging.”

Technically, I suppose she’s right. Our minds do fire synapses telling our bodies what to do before the body can do anything. The pounding heartrate that happens because a squirrel ran in front you requires a nano-second for our brain to say, ‘slam on the brakes, you idiot’.

But seriously, can words fall without the brain consciously working? Do we say things we wish we hadn’t because we couldn’t stop ourselves? OR …

Wish I Hadn’t Opened My Mouth?

  • Do we say things we wish we wish we hadn’t said? Re-read that sentence …
  • In other words, do I say things that – I actually wanted to say BUT I wish I hadn’t wanted to say them?    OR
  • I want to say the words BUT I wish I didn’t have to suffer the consequences?   OR
  • Do I really just want to speak my mind and use the whole “my mouth moved without me” as an excuse or justification? OR
  • Do our mouths open, our foots go in and our brain stands back and does nothing?

Do you see the subtle, but quite important, differences? Are all true on occasion?

It sure seems like words fall out of my mouth without my making the decision to engage my vocal cords.

I’m listening to a book right now, The Sinner by JR Ward. I’ve counted at least 4 times when a character has spoken without thinking.*

One of the best things about reading is that I can see myself in a character and not feel like I’m a bit crazy. After all, characters are realistic if not real.

But maybe, after fifty-five years, I should at least try to let my brain “think before I speak”? A goal for 2021.

*This is not a negative critique of JR Ward’s writing. She is the master of creative ways to say common things. She can turn a metaphor on its head and have me LMAO.

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June Converse with purple hair
Choosing to rebuild a life after a breakdown has been a challenge. I became an author and a blogger who openly shares...
All of my novels, at least so far, have an element of mental illness within a character. Decide to Hope is the most autobiographical in that I struggle in many ways exactly as the female protagonist.
- J.C.


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