My writing voice sounds like texts from a 13-year-old girl

I'm pretty sure I'm going to crash and burn on this blogging challenge any day now, but I'm trying to make it at last at least a week.

Today's BlogHer writing prompt asks "how is your writing voice like you?"    That's a tough one because I think I have several writing voices.

There's my journalism voice (which itself is sub-divided depending on the subject) and my fiction voice and my poetry voice and, of course, my blogging voice.

I think if there's any one defining characteristic that they all share, it's got to be total neurosis. Sometimes there's also anger and snark and annoyance and crazy-making self-doubt and anxiety. Or maybe all that just adds up to neurosis. Certainly, I've had people (newspaper readers, mostly) complain about my "voice": It's too bitchy, too self-involved, too whatever.

One of my favorite bits of feedback came via what was likely just Facebook spam via an email from someone complaining that I'm too "wo is me":

“Are you a lesbian? You’re so wo is me. It’s a turn-off. People don’t like that.”

Um, OK But, whatever. I mean, maybe I guess on the 'woe/wo/whoa" part. 

Mostly I strive for honesty, but my honest voice is, admittedly, one that is narcissistic, peevish, fickle, bitchy and immature.

I've been criticized for writing like a teenage girl writing in her diary. Guilty as charged.

Actually, I think my writing voice sounds more like texts from a 13-year-old girl. Or, to be more accurate, my writing voice sounds like this video for Beyonce's "Drunk in Love," in which the song's lyrics are depicted entirely via emojis.

Yeah, that's pretty much me right there.


Writing while female, part one

Look, I know I said I'd blog daily in March but I didn't say it'd be quality. Too busy, so for now I'll just leave you with Buzzfeed's list of what women writers are sick of hearing. I post this as someone who is damn sick of people accusing me of just being mopey all the time. One time this guy at a reading called me the "death poet."

Well, OK, then, I guess, whatever.




Ten reasons I'm still not an adult.

The New York TImes just published a piece by Pamela Druckerman titled "What You Learned in Your 40s."

In addition to the usual stuff about how, by this age, you've kind of figured out that it does no one any good at anytime to care so much about what others think and that "eight hours of continuous, unmedicated sleep is one of life's great treasuresm"{TRUTH), she also advises on the subject of adulthood:

"There are no grown-ups. We suspect this when we are younger, but can confirm it only once we are the ones writing books and attending parent-teacher conferences. Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently."

OK, I call bullshit on this. There are plenty of grown-ups out there, I'm just not one of them. Maybe it's because I don't have children, maybe that keeps me suspended in a perpetual state of arrested development--I don't know and I don't say this like it's something of which to be proud. Sure, I like the notion of "staying young," of not growing stale, of not forgoing adventure and no longer caring about new music, etc, but I seriously also wonder when I'm going to become the adult that my parents ever were.

I've technically been an adult for 26 years and I think the closest I've ever felt to being a bonafide grown-up is when Cory and I both got life insurance policies. That's responsible, right?

Other than that, however, nope. And I'm trying to figure out why I don't feel like a grown-up.

So far, this is what I've come up with (a partial, probably ongoing list):

  1. I still eat dinner at the coffee table almost every night. 
  2. My dining room table is reserved for when we have people over for dinner, for projects and for various cat wrestling matches.
  3. I've never hosted a holiday family get-together.
  4. I still sit at the kids' table at most family get-togethers.
  5. I usually wait to do laundry until I'm down to the dregs of my drawers
  6. Basically I have no set schedule for any household tasks or necessities.
  7. I hate gardening. Adults garden, right?
  8. I don't have a 401K (I used to, so maybe I was an adult for awhile?).
  9. I don't own property (see parenthetical above).
  10. Johnny Carson is no longer alive/ on-the-air. How can you be an adult if you don't end every evening with The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson? My 7-year-old self says this is not possible.