Many years ago I ordered one of my first online print books about wayward mothers losing their minds and getting up to mischief. I couldn’t believe such a novel existed. It was as if it was written for me.
When I got my sweet delivery I was so excited to wrap my chompers around every word. Which I did with utter glee… until rather abruptly, I didn’t.
What I found wasn’t what I expected. I had been elated at the prospect of the hilarity and familiarity that only a book based on everything I loved, loathed and lived – would surely bring. Alas, twas not the case.
The book WAS funny AF. However, and rather sadly, I never finished it. One reason was a pair of gate crashing squatters (a pre-schooler and toddler) consuming most of my waking and non-waking hours. I couldn’t even read movie subtitles without being interrupted a gazillion times by shit, tit, shlop, vom… the list goes on. Why I thought I’d be able to read in any medium at any time of day still is one of the GOAT jokes of them all.
Randomly, something other than my sweet little spawners was keeping me from eagerly reaching for that paperback. It was the
I realise how ridiculous rejecting a book I actively sought for that very reason – sounds, especially someone who can’t speak three sentences without slipping the f-bomb in at least eighteen times.
The problem for me was the swearing took over the tale. From memory and wherever I got up to – the book was a memoirish perspective on being a modern Mum, dealing with kids etc and the strong camaraderie and bond this woman had with her fellow boozing besties. She was basically living my life.
I was by no means quick to push the book aside and when I did – I was seriously pissed off with myself (on a side note and in support of a ridiculously successful woman and fellow writing sista – I will make it my mission to read the rest of it hopefully sometime in the next decade).
Writing – at that point in my life – had long been abandoned and was not remotely on the radar other than a few poorly written reviews.
However, when the vile bile of So You Are… Pregnant! spewed out of me in it’s raw infancy – every second word was FUCK. When I finally did a read-through of the first draft I had that same feeling as I had with the sweary, rejectorino potty-mouth book – but wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy worse.
(Disclaimer: the following is my personal response to ME – no one else.)
I felt cheap, but worse I felt like a great big dummy. That old saying I’ve poo pooed most of my life rung loudly – excessive swearing = a lack of intelligence.
Even though I knew what I was writing was raw, real and relatable, the sweary overuse was a little too loose.
The more I read, the more inarticulate, lazy and just plain old stupid I felt. To me – when I first write something (especially these posts) I write like I talk when I’m with close friends who would be concerned if I didn’t swear.
So, I had a decision to make. Leave it in – or try to communicate with a less ca-ca mouthed approach. The first thing I did was this to every fuck I could find –
Yes. I know it makes no bloody difference, but visually it kind of softens the aesthetic blow – for me at least.
Then I either removed/replaced, or did what I should of done as a professional writer from the start: got creative.
Even now on the 4578th edit – I’m finding myself cringing at the overuse and much is being culled. I hope it makes a difference to the reading experience.
BUT – many have been left. This is probably one of the best pros of self-publishing. Because sometimes nothing quite says it like a good old string of fCk’s.
FCkitty – fCk – fCky – fCking oath.
Sorry Nan x