I’m going to use yesterday’s post to transition into my thoughts today. It’s been argued that Miss California’s response wasn’t very eloquent. I thought about that and here’s what I came up with…honesty is seldom poetic. As mothers we know this all too well. Some of us have heard things like “Mommy, you smell.” Or “Why is your tummy so fat?” Or maybe you’ve had conversations like this:
Kid: “Where are we going, mommy?”
Mom: “Nowhere, why?”
Kid: “Cuz your dressed.”
Or maybe this one:
Kid: “Who’s coming over?”
Mom: “No one, why?”
Kid: “We only clean when someone comes over.”
I’m sure you can contribute to the many times honesty has been thrown in our faces by our children. But can we really fault their honesty? Think about Simon Cowell on American Idol. He is often brutally honest, to the point of rudeness, but the point is conveyed. He usually uses the same words every time to describe a performance, atrocious, karaoke, horrid. Not too many people would ever call him eloquent(except for maybe him!), but I don’t think anyone can say he’s not honest.
I am kind of a quiet person when you first meet me. I like to observe, and think about what I’m saying. I guard my tongue and over analyze everything I’m going to say which often results in me saying nothing. Mind you I’m just talking about the first few times I meet someone. After I get to know them better and can gauge their reactions, then I can speak more freely though still making sure I don’t say anything that could possibly offend. (Though I know there have been times I have offended anyway) But when I’m writing, I have learned to take away those filters. When I first started writing my family blog, I stuck to photos and brief explainations. Then one time I decided to go ahead and rant on my blog about a bad day I had. I had soooo much more responses then when I carefully chose my words. Honesty strikes a chord with us. But let’s face it, when we are writing for publication, we have to try to make honesty eloquent. Anyone that has written a first draft knows that it’s not poetic, but it is honest. So how do we bring those two elements together? …No really, how do we do it? (Did you think I was going to really have the answer??? Come on people, I’m on my third complete rewrite! I have no idea what I’m doing!) Part of the answer I think is to get honest critiques. It may hurt, but we need to delight in the honesty. But remember that honest responses are also subjective. One person’s horrid performance is another’s favorite. But here’s where I have a hard time; choosing the words that make the story flow but still convey honesty. My question to all of you is how do you balance the two? Is it something that just happens for you, or do you have to work at it? What systems do you use? What are your thoughts?