Tell the truth and get your shit together (she tells herself)

“You must always tell the truth.”

In my opinion, this is the most important rule of writing, one that must never be broken. If readers can’t trust a writer, that writer is probably just a journal-er. Strict adherence to this rule requires attention to detail. I struggled with this principle in my last post. I really struggled to be brave, to tell the whole unpolished truth.

It feels risky, exposing to publish some honest language. For me, it takes bravery to put the F word on the Internet. I’m a bit of a rule follower, and I’m afraid of being judged. Anyone who knows me may find this admission ridiculous because they’ll know I don’t have any such hesitation with the words that come out of my mouth.

I’m not really sure where this fear comes from. My family doesn’t hesitate to use the F word. My friends don’t either. I have the best coworkers and they swear like sailors. But for some reason when it comes to writing things on the Internet I don’t just think about my ideal audience or even my likely audience (hi, mom and dad!). I think about every person who could possibly be reading it. My grandma doesn’t have a computer so I’m not so worried about that. Also, grandma, while she doesn’t exactly approve of some of my language, is pretty well acquainted with my foul mouth. My friends who have kids know that they’re going to have to have the conversation about appropriate language after they leave Aunt Talia’s house. I don’t expect to attract many members of the clergy to my blog or any other of my writing for that matter. Yet there’s something about seeing those words back-lit in black-and-white that gives me anxiety.

I tried telling the story in my last post without the F word but I just couldn’t do it. I don’t think I’ve ever told any story about horses without the F word. Horses and the F word just go together like coffee and a good book. In that post if I had talked about the “Messing Around Scale“ you would’ve known I meant “Fucking Around Scale” and you probably would have thought me a bit of a coward. Because we all know the only way to describe spending four hours trying to convince a horse to get into a metal box is “total and complete fuckery.”

What I’ve learned is that I’m still afraid of publishing my words. Every time I write something new, something that feels as though it exposes me, I feel afraid. I think that means I need to rethink the frequency at which I post here. I still need some “flag work,” as they say in horse circles, to desensitize myself. I guess that means more frequent posts with scary elements… Shit.

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