Dirty Words: Finding Hope in Honest Writing

depression
Photo credit: Jennifer Jones

My book is about a man who has sex with another man in a cemetery near a Catholic church.

My book is laced with profanity and the difficultly digested truth that darkness can worm its way through a weakened heart.

My book deals with piss and bleach and infidelity and marriage and drunkenness and slurred words and dried mascara and manipulative sex and co-dependent love and all those other things that would never work as a Facebook status or yearly Christmas letter.

My book is honest. It is real. It is humanity in its dirtiest form.

So how, then, can it be Good?

We’ve been indoctrinated to believe certain things about Goodness, especially about those who attempt to live in the name of it. They are close-minded, judgmental, bitter little individuals who would rather wallow in their self-righteousness than actually give two cents about you.

For some people is this truth? Unfortunately, yes. But is this what REAL Goodness is all about?

Fortunately, no.

This is the thing: the world hurts which means we hurt. My characters are hurting in their own world. They feel disconnected and cut off and unloved. They feel alone and embarrassed in their attempts to connect. They feel scorned and hopeless.

They just want to be truly themselves and respected for it.

And my hope is that this book is a testament to what I believe. That even when things seem the most heartless and scary and downright suffocating, there are still Good people who want to lift you up and bring you to the light. They want to be the shoulder, the rock, the way. They just want to help, no strings attached.

This is what I want my book to teach. I want my writing to be a reminder that those same feelings of unworthiness boil in the bellies of all of us. And that no amount of make up and staged photos and new cars and cool clothes will ever be able to wash away that fact.

Because when we’re reminded of our humanity and seek it in others, we’re more apt to do the Good thing, the only thing: love.


dear hearts

This post brought to you by the discussions I had in the comments of this post with Jay Wilson and Michelle Terry. And a book that I hope brings peace to anyone who reads it.

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Ericka Clay says:

    Reblogged this on Tipsy Lit and commented:

    Raw and real is the name of the game for me. But can hope rise from the dirtiness? You bet your arse.

    Like

  2. i like the thinking. I’ve written about the taboo, as you well know. Good writing is rarely anodyne, though there are some exceptions.
    If you’ve had the experience I have, where readers ask, ‘How could you do that?’ and had to say ‘I didn’t. I’m a writer. It’s what I do.’ then you’ve made the grade

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ericka Clay says:

      It does often feel like the writing happens beyond my control. Funny, that. Thanks for reading, Duncan!

      Like

      1. My character Charlie went way out of my control. I just had to sit back, watch, and record it. Robert and his skillet? He did too

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jay Wilson says:

    I think you need to get out of my head… I was in the middle of an entry on a similar subject when I saw your post. :p

    Haha, seriously, though, excellent points. As you probably already know, I have no problem making people sick or feel uncomfortable as long as the end result is that they learn about something either themselves, the world, or anything between.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Micki Allen says:

    Reblogged this on micki allen and commented:
    Because Good/Bad is something I think about often.

    Like

    1. Ericka Clay says:

      Thanks for the reblog, Micki!

      Liked by 1 person

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