The Taylor Swift Defense

November 11, 2012 § 8 Comments

Songstress Taylor Swift has made an enviable career by writing and singing her truths. While some of her songs (like Hey Stephen from the Fearless album) speak of sweet love, Taylor’s lyrics often touch on the other side of boy/girl relationships; the stuff that some might find embarrassing.

She’s gotten a lot of flack for speaking the truth. Grown men have said they love her, but wouldn’t date her, because of the risk they run in having a song created about them that might document a failed relationship. “Chickens,” I say.

Though my format is different, like Taylor, I write about my feelings and experiences. Nothing is off-limits. Is anything safe?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that I am currently writing about my divorce and all of the traumatic, embarrassing, and disappointing parts of the transition.

The other day I was advised not to tell the world that I have my kids in play therapy (to help them adjust to the upcoming changes). But what is wrong with telling this truth? My kids are benefitting, and as a parent I am doing what is responsible for their well-being. Should I not disclose the things that led my husband and me to separate? Should I not share experiences that might help someone else (going through a similar life-trial)?

The argument that it’s private doesn’t hold weight. What is private? Isn’t sharing, caring? Don’t others benefit from shared experiences? It’s not slander unless it’s said with malicious intent. Is secrecy, then, an attempt to hide a bruised ego?

I’m willing to disclose my own bruised ego.

Here’s this gem:

Yesterday I failed another CloudCrowd test, after three mind-numbing hours of writing, editing and proof reading. I even had back-up this time to ensure that I’d pass; mom was a room away to double-check my work.

It looked good, I thought, but I failed.

When I had settled down enough (after receiving my rejection email; F-word F-word F-word), I went back to look at the critique.

1. I made one subject/verb agreement after the thing had been written and during my last minutes before posting. I knew I shouldn’t have changed act to acts (the subject). I didn’t even think about the verb. Bad, bad writer girl!

2. I was accused of not comparing and contrasting the subject matter, which was the main objective to the second written piece. The fact that the subject was “Religion in the United States,” and that I compared the freedom from religion in our country to countries who do not allow such freedoms, seemed to go unnoticed.

3. My mom and I had major discussions about whether our freedom was “from” or “of” religion. Ultimately, I chose to say “from” since our government doesn’t require us to practice a national religion, nor are we ruled under a government that preaches a particular choice. We are free from being told what we should believe.

4. The last time I tested, I wrote far more than the 200 words that were required. I felt that this set me up to be judged on more errors (resulting in fail number one). Yesterday, I decided to keep it closer to the word limit, but with a topic like U.S. Religion, this was hard. Still, I thought I did a good job, though apparently I was wrong.

My frustration with CloudCrowd has me questioning whether or not I should hang up the editing piece of this budding writing career.

At the same time, I wonder if I should try again with a different company whose reviewers are a little more open-minded to written interpretation, especially on the written exams?

The truth is not always pretty, but there is power in its function. I believe in this wholeheartedly.

M.

Are you a secret keeper who believes that things should be private or do you speak the truth despite the consequence of embarrassment?

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§ 8 Responses to The Taylor Swift Defense

  • Paige says:

    I am pretty open with people about my situation. I have found people to be understanding and more willing to share their own experiences with me.

    • Martha Merrill Wills says:

      People are really nice. Sometimes, even though they know what’s going on with me they don’t talk about, which I’m okay with too.

  • I find its a fine line and a balance of what I do and don’t share online. I tend to err on the side of not sharing because I know that things have a way of being misconstrued no matter the intention of the writer. But then there’s the part of me that does want to share – that’s why we start blogging, right? To connect with other people and have our stories resonate. I don’t think that I answered your question but I admire you for sharing your experiences here.

  • dorseyml says:

    Hey! I nominated you for a blog award. If you have time…here are the details! http://sweatdaily.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/blogger-award/

    • Martha Merrill Wills says:

      OOOOOh! Thank you!

      I read your post last night. Am inspired by you! Question …. what’s the upkeep like on the red? I went from blonde to darker brown, but red is calling my name!

      • dorseyml says:

        So honestly, RED is the most high maintenance of all the colors. The reason why is because the red color molecule is soooo large it has a difficult time getting into the hair shaft. And because of this, it fades very easily. Fading is thought to be a negative aspect, but it can actually be quite positive. Because the hair fades, you have opportunity to try whatever color you desire, and can easily switch it up. For example, you can start out with a more vibrant red which in 5 weeks may fade to a lighter almost ginger or strawberry color. So my point is because Red fades, it is not permanent (even if you use permanent color) which is all the more reason to try it! I love red and you will too!

      • Martha Merrill Wills says:

        Yes… I see red in my future…once I’m a single girl again for certain!

  • […] has been much to my dismay, since my continuous testing failures at CloudCrowd, that 3.16 of their style guide says […]

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