Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Random Rant - I Am Writing In My Voice And Giving Osho A High Five

Back in 2012, I started a blog site titled 'That Batty Bitch Fhee.' This was my place to write in my voice about random stuff that piqued my attention or strummed my nerves. I wrote about those who are inherently confused by the terms semi-homemade and homemade. Or, Moms of human kids who feel that grocery stores should invest thousands of dollars in fancy grocery carts that will entertain their kids while they shop.

During the lifespan of 'That Batty Bitch Fhee,' I acquired a rather diverse audience. Some people despised my existence. Others sat on the edge of their seats waiting for my next published piece. Somewhere in the middle were those who made sure no one knew they read my columns or they weren't quite sure how to process what they had read. They wanted to like it, but it was too risky.

It was during this time when I received the best compliment I've ever received as a writer. A dear friend of mine said, "When I read this, I could hear your voice speaking it." After a lengthy conversation, she also said, "Don't stop. Keep writing in your voice."

Unfortunately, the following year, in 2013, I retired the 'That Batty Bitch Fhee' blog site. I was swamped with new clients. I was working and writing for some rather affluent entrepreneurs. I started ghostwriting. I was a published columnist for an online marketing site. I provided services in the area of social media, SEO, affiliate marketing, and content management. We launched Bodacious Biscuit Love. I was tutoring college students who were majoring in writing and marketing. I was also the go-to person for a few entrepreneurs who needed honest feedback on site content, logos, setup, etc.

The list goes on. 

At that point, I stopped writing and posting short annotations in my voice about things that caught my attention. In short, I had to maintain a facade of sorts. What that translated to was keeping anything I wrote neat and presentable. Because. Well, what if a client read what I wrote and didn't like it? What if someone from the marketing department of a potential affiliate retailer caught wind of my distaste for overpriced chocolate and personalized aprons? What if someone in our Bodacious Community read something that offended them and they attempted to sabotage us?

That's what I went through for over 4 years. I'm not going to lie. It was pure misery. 

Over a year ago, I received an email from the very same friend who had given me the best compliment as a writer. She said, "What's going on? What has happened to you? Your published work is great, but it's not you." Her words hit me like a wrecking ball.

That's probably when I began the process of having enough. I made changes. Little changes. Big changes. Over time.

Fast forward to the here and now...

I have made a considerable amount of changes pertinent to the career path I've skipped down over the last 12 years. Especially, the last few years.

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned is that when you start speaking or writing in a voice that is not yours, to cater to the masses, eventually, you snuggle into a somewhat comfortable mold that's not made for you. It goes beyond writing. And speaking. You become a doormat. You start turning the other way. You start putting up with shit that you would never, in the past, put up with. You crack jokes when people call you old-fashioned. Overall, you put on your best Poker Face and go with the flow.

Screeching. Halt.

That is not going to happen any longer. I'm not sure the exact moment when my switch flipped. But. When it did, I took a good, long hard look in the mirror and said, "Enough is enough. I'm done."

What does this mean?

For starters, I made the decision to retire from a few services I have provided for the last decade. I'm done. Done. Done. Done.

In addition...

I will continue to write in my voice whether it's blog columns or stuff I post on Facebook or other social media streams.

Sure, it irritates me that we're living in a time period when every written word is psychoanalyzed, ripped apart, and people will always find something amid all of that to be offended by. Or take personally.

Oh. Well. 

Osho, a controversial mystic, guru, and spiritual teacher during his time, once said, "I’m responsible for what I say, not for what you understand." That's one of my favorite quotes. As a 44-year-old writer and Work at Home Dog Mom with a candid and honest tongue, I live by that mantra.

Not everyone is going to agree with me. Not everyone is going to like what I have to say. It may even piss a few people off. A handful of people may walk away after reading what I wrote and assume what I wrote was about them.

Sorry. Please do not flatter yourselves. However, if the shoe fits, try it on. Wear it. 

Nothing that I write is about a particular person or situation. My blog columns and daily rants on social media stem from what I have been through. What has caught my attention. What inspires me. What pisses me off. What frustrates me. What I have witnessed over the years. What I have experienced while I was a residential counselor at a group home, an educational tutor, an Independent Living guest speaker and instructor, a ghostwriter, a hired author, a content manager, an SEO specialist, etc.

Again, the list goes on.

My life has been far from perfect. I left home when I was 17. I almost died while living on the streets in the dead of winter when I was 18. I haven't seen or heard from my father since my parents divorced when I was 24. Shortly after, I was involved with someone who beat the shit out of me for almost 2 years. I kissed the lips of death. It took 3 months to plan my escape. To this day, I still live with the physical injuries that went untreated. The TBI that plagues my brain every single day.

When I write. When I speak. It's from experience. I don't want anyone to go through what I went through. And, if they did, or they are, I want to be that voice that inspires them to go on. To give them strength. To let them know that no matter where you are in life, you can do better. You can reach your goals.

When I post stuff on my social media streams, it's not about you or you or you. It's not about your situation. Or, about your kid. If you take what I write personally, you have a few options.

The first, be offended. Take me off your friend's list. Ignore me. Don't reply to my texts and emails or, when you do, respond casually.


The second, if you read something I write and it causes a reaction, pause for a moment. Ask yourself why. Why is it rattling your nerves? Why did it shake you? Why did it catch your attention? Allow yourself to be in that place for a bit o' time. Take a few steps back. Looking in from the outside is a great place to be. Trust me. I know.

Last, reach out to me. Respond. I don't care if you're praising what I wrote or you want to tell me to jump off the nearest cliff. Speak up. Speak out. Vent. Get ugly. You're an adult. Stop dropping hints or inflicting nonchalant inconveniences. Speak your mind. In the end, you'll feel better.

I encourage any and all. You know why? Because when I publish anything in my voice, I am immediately putting myself in the middle of the crowd. I'm generating conversations. I am encouraging and inspiring people to think and speak and write. I'm taking risks. I am opening myself up to learning new things and broadening my perspectives. I will participate in those conversations.

When I write in my voice, I'm not hiding behind a curtain or someone else's name. It's me. Standing there. In the raw. As a professional writer for 30 years, this is nothing new. Give me your best shot. Read my words and have a reaction. Say what you have to say.

This will be my last blog column about writing in my own voice.

This will be my last disclaimer to those who feel I'm writing about them personally or highlighting their current situations.

I'm done.

As a writer, I refuse to waste my time writing additional posts about this issue.

I'm going to be 45 this year. I'm confident in my skin. I do not have the time or energy to impress anyone. I do good. I have a big heart. I put my heart and soul into the people I love and care about. I love my wife. I love our family of furry kids. I love our home. I love our tribe. I love what we do each and every day to extend random acts of kindness and to assist those in need.

Writing in my voice does not change that. I am human. I am a proud Work at Home Dog Mom.

Like me. Hate me.


I am me. People don't have to like me. And, I don't have to care about that.

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