The Taylor Swift Defense–Speak the Truth
Songstress Taylor Swift has made an enviable career by writing and singing her truths. While some of her songs (like Hey Stephen from the Fearless album) speak of sweet love, Taylor's lyrics often touch on the other side of boy/girl relationships; the stuff that some might find embarrassing.
She's gotten a lot of flack for speaking the truth. Grown men have said they love her, but wouldn't date her, because of the risk they run having a song created about them that might document a failed relationship. "Chickens," I say.
Though my format is different, like Taylor, I write about my feelings and experiences. Nothing is off-limits. Is anything safe?
It shouldn't come as a surprise, then, that I am currently writing about my divorce and all of the traumatic, embarrassing, and disappointing parts of the transition.
The other day I was advised that I shouldn't tell the world that I have my kids in play therapy (to help them adjust to upcoming changes). But what is wrong with telling this truth? My kids are benefitting, and as a parent I am doing what is responsible for their well-being. Should I not disclose the things that led my husband and me to separate? Should I not share experiences that might help someone else (going through a similar life-trial)?
The argument that it's private doesn't hold weight. What is private? Isn't sharing, caring? Don't others benefit from shared experiences? It's not slander unless it's said with malicious intent. Is secrecy, then, an attempt to hide a bruised ego?
I'm willing to disclose my own bruised ego.
Here's this gem:
Yesterday I failed another CloudCrowd test, after three mind-numbing hours of writing, editing and proof reading. I even had back-up this time to ensure that I'd pass; mom was a room away to double-check my work.
It looked good, I thought, but I failed.
When I had settled down enough (after receiving my rejection email; F-word F-word F-word), I went back to look at the critique.
1. I made one subject/verb agreement after the thing had been written and during my last minutes before posting. I knew I shouldn't have changed act to acts (the subject). I didn't even think about the verb. Bad, bad writer girl!
2. I was accused of not comparing and contrasting the subject matter, which was the main objective to the second written piece. The fact that the subject was "Religion in the United States," and that I compared the freedom from religion in our country to countries who do not allow such freedoms, seemed to go unnoticed.
3. My mom and I had major discussions about whether our freedom was "from" or "of" religion. Ultimately, I chose to say "from" since our government doesn't require us to practice a national religion, nor are we ruled under a government that preaches a particular choice. We are free from being told what we should believe.
4. The last time I tested, I wrote far more than the 200 words that were required. I felt that this set me up to be judged on more errors (resulting in fail number one). Yesterday, I decided to keep it closer to the word limit, but with a topic like U.S. Religion, this was hard. Still, I thought I did a good job, though apparently I was wrong.
My frustration with CloudCrowd has me questioning whether or not I should hang up the editing piece of this budding writing career.
At the same time, the "don't give up" part of me thinks maybe I should try again with a different company whose reviewers are a little more open-minded to written interpretation, especially on the written exams.
The truth is not always pretty, but there is power in its function. I believe in this wholeheartedly.
Are you a secret keeper who believes that things should be private or do you speak the truth despite the consequence of embarrassment?
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