Make Room For The Stuttering

Speaking Honestly

Posted on: November 12, 2014

There’s been a couple of good pieces by women recently related to being honest with our speech and our stuttering. I posted Erin Schick’s brilliant poem, Honest Speech, last month.

And today, Katherine Preston has a great piece, Speaking Honestly, published in The Huffington Post.

Both authors are women who stutter and speak to the importance of being authentic with our stuttering. Erin talks about speaking fluently when she stutters and Katherine talks about liking being remembered for her stuttering.

Both of these pieces resonate with me, as I did a speech on Being Memorable at the National Stuttering Association annual conference in D.C. in July and again for my 2014 ISAD contribution.

Stuttering is a part of me. For years, I tried to hide it, push it away, deny it. I was ashamed of being associated with stuttering, for I had been conditioned to believe that stuttering was bad and that I deserved the sometimes negative reactions I received from society.

But something changed. I stopped trying to hide it, I began stuttering openly and honestly, I talked about stuttering and began to accept that some people were going to associate me with stuttering. And, THAT’S OK. It’s a part of me. It’s who I am. It’s good to be remembered in today’s world. I rather like having people remember my name.

Just yesterday I was at a school doing some presentations and someone came up to me and said, “I remember you. I took an excellent bullying class from you several years ago and you talked about stuttering. And you came to our school and did a talk on stuttering. It’s so good to see you again. You’re a great speaker.”

That made me feel good, and proud and happy that she remembered me.

Being honest with our speech and with ourselves is so much easier than hiding and pretending to be someone we’re not. I’m sure happy I just let my stuttering hang out these days.


3 Responses to "Speaking Honestly"

Re: Erin Schick’s “Honest Speech”
What I saw was a gutsy perfomance expressing all the frustration and anger with ourselves that we as stutterers deal with daily.
I also saw a water pump struggling to draw words from the well, splashing them out in spurts and gushes.
I would love to tell Erin about the marvelous book I have just read by a lady who harnessed her passion for writing to discover “Speech is a River” and find permenant fluency. This is the name of her inspirational book and it is available as a free download from
Another amazing book in the same vein is “Redefining Stuttering” also available as a free download (just google it and click on the site) or as a paperback from amazon.

Hi Stephen – thanks for the comments. I know of Ruth’s book, Speech Is A River. I interviewed her for an episode of my podcast. The title of the podcast episode is the same as her book. I am also familiar with John Harrison, having met him, read his book and also interviewed him for a podcast episode.

I’m not sure if one can find permanent fluency just by reading a book, but both Ruth and John offer great perspectives and it’s great they offer their books for free.

Stuttering can be painful – any relief that can be found is helpful.


Inspiration Pamela, Inspiration! Its the top two inches that are the most critical in dealing with a stutter.

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