Joe Umeseaka, WI

Junior Writer

Joseph Umeseaka is an author, blogger, and ghostwriter. In 2013, he took the leap into self-publishing and taught himself to wear all most of the hats including editing, formatting, and cover design. He’s written everything from manual test scripts as a software tester to book synopses as a freelance ghostwriter. Through his words he’s able to break down complex processes or create vivid worlds and characters that tug at your heartstrings. He now works as a freelance ghostwriter and is working on his newest coming-of-age historical fiction novel, Roman Identity.

As a StoryTerrace writer, Joseph interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know him better by reading his autobiographical anecdote below.

Do You Talk?

That was the question posed to me back in elementary school. I was standing in line in front of the music room. From an early age, teachers drilled in my head to stand in a straight line and be quiet as our class moved from one room to the next for our weekly specials, whether that was gym, art or music. In my head, it made sense to stay quiet and wait for our teacher to give us further instruction. So, when a passing staff member asked me out of the blue the question at the onset, I was taken aback.

Was I supposed to be talking like the rest of my peers? Her puzzled tone coupled with a look of pity made me think that something was wrong with me. Was I the one in the wrong? It wasn’t the first time or the last time that I felt odd for not talking.

So, I told myself I couldn’t be too quiet when I tagged along at social gatherings with my older sisters and their friends. If I didn’t want to appear a loner, I had to force myself to engage in conversation with my fellow peers while they chatted about how many points their favorite basketball player scored in a game, or overpriced athletic shoes. I tried to listen carefully, even if I had little to contribute to the conversation. Perhaps if I memorized enough facts from the weekly exchanges, I could finally have something meaningful to say the next time I met with the same group of boys.

But that never happened. So, I remained a quiet bystander until I decided I would rather be alone than be in a group where I wished I was alone.

Fast forward a few years as a young adult l I finally could put a name to my “condition.” I was simply an introvert. And no, I was not antisocial or shy. It was as if someone finally spoke my secret language. With fast moving fingers I shared the article with my chatty coworkers although they had nothing to say. I guess I should have asked: do you talk?

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