What happens when a person (me) who calls herself a Christian (I am) uses inappropriate language in print?
1. Upon seeing herself in an actual book, she screams “HOLY SHIT!”
2. She burrows under the covers, fearing judgement from those who will read it. Her husband coaxes her out with coffee and scrambled eggs.
3. Her husband also finds her bio with the rest of the authors, and points out the irony of the F-word being in the same sentence with “loves God.”
4. They laugh. And cringe. But mostly laugh.
The language. The admission of drinking. The brutal honesty. Is this “Christian?” Some would say no, and I accept that. I was raised a third-generation Seventh-day Adventist, surrounded by wonderful, warm, God-loving people who did not drop F-bombs. I’ve never heard my mother use inappropriate language, and I myself don’t use it out loud that often. I’m thankful for my conservative upbringing, because I do believe in God and I do hold my children to a high moral standard.
I also drink wine at night after I have prayed with them and tucked them into bed.
I try my best not to scream expletives around them, ever.
I sometimes fail at this.
But you know, some people get my writing and some people don’t. That is totally okay. I do not expect everyone everywhere to agree with me or love what I do. I understand if there are people who think I’ve gone off the deep end or turned my back on my upbringing, although both of those assumptions are incorrect.
You know what is a virtually impossible achievement? TO MAKE EVERYONE HAPPY.
I realize that there are lots people out there who don’t want to read my work, and I get that, because I am also very picky about what I read. We are all different and we like different things. That’s a good thing! I embrace diversity. I also know that thinking too much about the opinions of others is the quickest way to kill creativity. My one big rule is this: if my husband is not okay with it, then it doesn’t get published.
I guess my point is, I refuse to allow the fear of judgement to hold me back. This is the one thing I have in common with Taylor Swift. That, and the fact that we’re both very, very white.
This — my writing — is me, in honest form. If I tried hard to glaze over the grittiness of life, then I would not be speaking my truth. Some people are good at writing nicely. I’m good at writing honestly. And honestly, life is hard.
I only recently started referring to myself as a writer. When I say it out loud, it makes me weirdly and inappropriately emotional. My eyes well up and I choke a little, and then I feel stupid. Maybe eventually I’ll get used to saying it, but for now I just feel blessed to be able to back up that title with some pretty awesome accomplishments.
Buckle your seatbelts, bitches.