The Knitting Journeyman

Gathering Up One Thread At A Time As I Weave This Web Of Mine.....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

To Swear or Not To Swear

Really, now, how the heck cares? Lol

Honestly, I have friends who pick on me, in real life and otherwise, because I am not always the most appropriate person, at any given time. I will talk about sex, argue politics, discuss mutilations and disease, swear around old grandma’s –most of whom can hold their own, btw--not swear and play the Pollyanna around big tough hard-drinking men…and not bat an eyelash at all when someone calls me out about things. That’s me. I am not just a Pisces, the fish who swims in two directions at once; I am Gemini-Rising as well, which means twins going in opposite directions…I am the proverbial crossroads…always heading out in four directions, and usually doing it all at once.

I read this post this morning…well…fine…I read it last night…then someone said something to me about my blog post from yesterday…so I read her post again this morning and thought I would throw my two cents in, for no real reason other than I can.

Where do you stand on your own, in ‘real’ life and online, on your blog, in comments you make to others in whatever forum…do you censor yourself? Do you try to behave yourself? Does it not matter to you one way or the other because you don’t swear anyway?

Usually I try not to swear. It’s a self-respect thing. Or it used to be. How lo- brow and uncouth, with all the words stuffed in my head, must I be to fall to using such offensive language… And then, I did my normal thing. I not only read books and blogs and so on by people who don’t live in this country…I talked to them, to people not from this country. And, ya know what, they swear. Not every single person in the whole wide world, but as in most things, Americans, for some reason, want to be Puritan above all else. I say, be my guest. You are definitely allowed.

Funny. A few months ago, I stopped writing with one writing group, not just because of everything that was happening in my life at that time, and not only because of some of the censoring that was going on w the work of others in that group, but because, in my own writing, I normally swear…not every other word if the F word or anything, but I write from ‘normal’ life…and most of the people I know swear, even if they do try to tune it down around children. I originally chose to censor myself in that group, to keep the language clean, to keep sex to a minimum, because of the group with which I was associating myself…anyone could read those group blogs, from children to adults. I made my writing fit the proper criteria there. That self-censoring fell over into nearly all of my writing, except what I was doing for a particular friend…and that I wrote simply to titillate and arouse…and no one but he read that work.

See, this whole thing is clicking in around the edges w me today. Me, towing these lines that everyone else has drawn. I was careful when writing in public, either via blogs, either via comments, either via forums, and so on, to be very careful and correct with my language. Those who read my main blog here know when I do swear on my blog…I don’t write the entire word out. Sh*t is about all you will see. Why?

Well, ‘why’ has more than one part. First of all, I do understand that many many people read this blog, for many different reasons. When I first started to write online, I wanted to be as much to every person as I possibly could be…it finagles back into my work, all angles of my work—from my art work to my healing work and everywhere in between…I wanted everyone to like me, to like my stuff. I wanted everyone to come back. I wanted to impress people. I never wanted to offend anyone. I wanted to be all things to all people, as much as I could be. I had fallen into that great marketing trap, the one from which I am currently extricating myself anyway…which is why this question apparently got under my skin so much. Yes, I have purposely pointed out in articles that I am not all things to all people, nor can I ever be so. Nor do I want to be so. Sometimes I say things I mean, but it takes time for the rest of my life to catch up.
Example here.

Yes, I do want to have a broad appeal. As Shelli points out here in her post about the same topic, as a writer/artist, I do want to have broad appeal across a full range of audiences. I do understand that. As a writer, as someone seeking to earn a living by writing, even though I am not quite doing that as yet, but that does not make me any less a writer, you do want ‘the masses’ to throng ‘round to read your work, to buy your work. You want that mass appeal. Or do you?

I do not aspire to be embraced by the masses. Can we look at other people, say Britney, and see how well everyone holds up under pressure? We don’t have to look at celebrities; we can look at politicians too. Once the public eye is upon you, nothing hides, not even those bits of mice poop in the closet. I have never wanted to be center stage. I have always wanted my own little niche, not in the spotlight, just a little horn tooting now and then, just enough interest to keep me afloat.

All my heroes, the writers of old, why did they write? They wrote because they had to write. They had something to say, so they said it. Why do I write? Because if I don’t write, I will go mad. Do I really care enough to alter who and what I am so that every single granny in the world will want to read what I write? Do I want the Pope to find my writing so appealing that he does nothing but bless me and my work? Is there more to be had w positive appeal … or do I write what I bloody well write and am pleased w myself, knowing I have given in to no man other than my own dear sweet tragically bizarre self?

I pick me. Time and time again. Hands down.

This is why I created the second Alyce blog, the Uncensored blog. It is no defunct, as I have taken all my various writing blogs and combined them. You can find all the works from all the blogs here.

You will probably find more than one copy of different stories here. I am not a complete …meanie… though. The tags will tell you how graphic things are, sexually, verbiage-ly…all of that. I do not spring profanity upon you unwarned. I am not completely disrespectful. I do believe you have the right to read other things, to go other places, if what I write is not to your taste. I do not hold a grudge if I am not your cup of tea. I heartily say to you, go find what makes you happy, what appeals to you. And I am happy for you when you do.

Honey. Beauty’s Release by Anne Rice writing as A.N. Roquelaure, all the Beauty books, they opened these amazing doors for me. I read them when I was a teen-ager. I read soft core and hard core porn, as a teenager, a young teenager. This stuff, it’s woven into the fabric of my world. And I have learned a great many lessons because of this, not only the porn, but because of the way I look at the world because of this background.

No matter where you go, you have to be you. If you say, I will not do this thing, you know there is someone else who will do it despite you. If you say, fine, then I’ll do this thing, but you have to pay me this much to do it…there is always someone else who is willing to do it at a much lower price. No matter what ‘this’ is. I say, find your own boundaries and stick w them. They really are all you have.

This is the pool in which I have been swimming for at least a year now. I have been looking at other people to validate things for me, to show me the way to do things, to give me acceptable barriers. I have been taking ‘lessons’ from the people around me.

I have not been true to myself. And as I was reading the original post that started this w me, I came upon this one as well, by Melissa, that does a great job of summing things up in some ways:
People, moms, everyone, need to have a place where they can be themselves and say the things they want to say the way they want and/or need to say them.

I have grown tired of selling myself, and of selling myself short, in order to do everything and be everything, the way society has been telling me I need to be. I have grown tired of living up to everyone else’s standards, to everyone else’s expectations. I don’t do that anymore. Or if I do, I am in the process of cutting that out of my life.

My story goes even deeper. I need to be ME. I need to stop living by everyone else’s standards. I have cut back on work hours. I have increased my time w my family. I have given myself more time to work on my writing and my artwork. I have given myself more time to study. If I swear, then fine, I swear. If I write about sex, or menstruation, or miscarriage, or anything in between, it’s me. It’s my stuff. Take it or leave it.

HOWEVER, when I am writing, for public consumption, I do my best to remain at least semi-respectful. I will self-edit, sh*t is my form of self-editing on this blog. You know what I am saying, but I am not shoving it right there in your face. On my writing blog, I use the tags to tell you—hey, there is sex here. There is language here. Even though I have not posted any of my truly raunchy work or my truly f**k word filled work either…there is a time and place for all things. You do not walk into things on any of my blogs without some warning. I am even known to warn people on this blog—TMI coming…vegetarians beware (I have a post half-written that I haven’t published yet that starts out w if you don’t eat meat, do not read this post). So, I do try to remain respectful—but I also do my best to remain who and what I am without compromising.

Now. As a mother? My own mother can swear sailors under the table. Piss that woman off. I dare you. She will tear you up one side and down the other…and that’s not even using her hands. “Mother” has many meanings to many people.

I get enough garbage, just being who I am anyway. I have tattoos, lots of them. I have earrings darn near all the way up both ears. My nose is pierced. I wear provocative clothing, but not in the winter usually because it’s too darned cold. I dye my 8yo’s hair because she likes it. I wear green nail polish. Well, fine, right now it’s dark brown, but still…I do not do what everyone else does. My lover’s middle name/clan name is tattooed on my wrist, because I am not afraid to let everyone know just how much I love him. I do not hide who and what I am. I am not your average every day soccer mom. Nor do I have any desire to be so. When R and I started dating, I warned him—I am the artistic airy fairy type. I will never hold a ‘real’ job—my kids will not attend public school—I will always be the farmer/gypsy type—who knits and paints and writes and who never fits in w conventional society. And he was/is fine w that. Luckily, he has known me for 10 years. He knows why I will never work a conventional job again. As he has so gently and teasingly put it in the past, he knows I’m not right in the head, and yet, he loves me anyway.

Now, add it all together. Tattoos. Piercings. Unconventional. Mother. Based solely on normal every day profiling, would you think I swear? In real life? On my blog?

Well, if you actually saw me in the flesh—and well, ok—not on a summer day when I am wearing a sleeveless top that shows off a good 10 tattoos all at once—you might not immediately see all the other stuff. Some people are shocked when I swear. Heck, some people are shocked when I open my mouth w the opinions I have. It’s a time and place thing. Although, to be honest, I have been known to swear in inappropriate places simply to cause a reaction. If I think you’re not worth my time, I don’t bother to try to be nice. And oh yeah, that situation is coming up again for me real soon, thanks to R. (more on this later)

I can be nice. I can play the game. If I do it on my terms, I’m happy. If I try to do it on someone else’s terms, I will purposely f**k it up. But that, that’s just me.

Thanks for letting me get that out of my system.
Now, where do you stand?