Monday, July 23, 2012

Why Some Things Should Just Stay In Your Head.

 We live in a society of over-sharers. If you are mentioning your child's poop online, you've over shared. If you are telling feelings on Facebook that really you should be sharing to a couples councilor, then you've over shared. 

Dear Taylor've over shared.


The line of propriety is clear. If you don't have anything nice to say....don't say anything at all.

As writers, we have the responsibility to be honest. To, as Hemingway stated, sit at a typewriter and bleed. There is nothing you can say about yourself that is over-sharing. There is not too much sharing about your own feelings, your own perceptions, or your own experiences.


If what you are saying involves someone else, or is sharing someone else's secrets, you are not being a writer when you tell it, you are being mean. If what you are saying is embarrassing to the other party, then you are shaming them in front of all your friends without giving them an opportunity to respond.

I think we also have a responsibility in our writing to be kind.

Soap box over.


Speaking of soap boxes, I watched a news story on Sunday about Soap Box Derby. Here's a link  to help getting started in Soap Box Racing. I love this idea. Kids, ages 7 - 17 can participate. They build the cars (from kits) using tools,  spending time outside with their parents. There's mini races, and national competition, where teens, male and female, meet together, have fun, and race downhill in cars they built themselves.

I love that setting for a story idea. It feels very 1950s, but it's still happening, right now.

We've talked about the line in the sand that comes from writing for teenagers. How much sex, drugs, profanity, etc. is too much inside YA fiction. I'm not trying to talk about that.

What I do think, is that there are so many things out there for grownups and teenagers to explore that aren't cutting edge, or borderline inappropriate. There are so many stories out there that don't need question marks.

There are enough story ideas out there that are...kind.


* Not posting a picture because of legal issues.


  1. I am clueless. What did Taylor Swift say? I guess I could google it. :)

    I'm with you. Sharing is nice, over-sharing is uncomfortable at best and cruel at its worst.

    Great post!

    1. Wasn't something specific she's said, it's just how many of her friends and x-boyfriends secrets she's shared in her songs. I don't know, but I think, even for a writer, it's not cool to put real people into stories, or songs, at least not without their permission. Some of that happens subconsciously, of course, like my Oh Baby post that was blatantly stolen from Susan's baby post. I think sometimes you can read things, or hear stories, or know people, and then when trying to be creative you can end up retelling a story, thinking it's original, and not blatantly stolen.

      I think the trick is to pay attention, and apologize when you notice.

      Sorry, Susan! Honest mistake!

  2. "There are so many stories out there that don't need question marks."

    An issue I've been struggling with since I first started working on my YA series. Perhaps, this struggle is what has been holding up my progress on this series...

    Nah, it's still my kids' fault. :D

    Very cool post!


    1. Thanks, Crank! I believe in your story, keep going!

  3. Can anyone explain to me this need people seem to have to post a photo of every meal they eat on Facebook? Or post twenty pictures a day of their cat sleeping in the window? (And I know people that talk about their child's poop on Facebook.) I don't get this need to involve others in the boring, sometimes inappropriate activities of their day. I'm in agreement with you, Sheena. It doesn't have to be overly personal.
    Oh, and for some reason the soapbox derby reference made me think of the movie Super 8. If your kids are much younger, it probably isn't appropriate for them, but it was a cute movie, if you haven't seen it.

    1. It was a friend posting a picture of her child's poop in a toilet that prompted this post.

      Not kidding.

      I love Super 8. One of my favorite movies of all time.


Got an opinion? Use it! Remember... be silly, be honest, and be nice/proofread.