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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

When write is on my side.

Amongst other things, I write about trends in kitchen and bathroom design. I used to write on all sorts of matters as a journalist and largely for broadsheet newspapers such as The Times.  I trained as a Graphic Designer and so with no formal training as a journalist, it always came as a bit of a surprise that I never had much trouble getting published.

But the reason for this apparent ease, was simply honesty.  I wrote about things that affected people, things that people didn't talk about openly. Sometimes it was merely my cynical observations that saw my words in print.

That is the funny thing about writing for a living. You can write with honesty or you can manipulate words to create your own truth. Journalism should be about reporting the truth or telling a story based on the perception of events or the interpretation of facts. It should never be knowingly based falsehood because when you use words either written or verbally to manipulate the truth, the outcome is never good.

And words are such powerful tools, possibly the single most deadly weapon ever developed. Being able to write, to articulate the truth, to create a story, to  communicate in such a way that others can relate to or empathise with, is an empowering skill but one all too often used to create damage, chaos and cruelty.

And I guess that is why I am comfortable about writing on matters that make others uncomfortable. Because I am comfortable with honesty. Since I have nothing to hide behind, no public image to keep up - I have no problem with writing about anything that affects my life. And nor do I have any issue with anyone knowing things about my life. Nor indeed, any fear of those that are not comfortable with the truth.

I remember my ex husband being utterly furious about my blog and the things that I wrote about our divorce.

"I don't write anything that isn't the truth" I said.

"Exactly" he said "that's the point"

He wasn't particularly comfortable with me writing about dishonesty, control and emotional abuse. I was, those were his issues and they affected me.  And that is exactly the kind of thing I like to write about most. I like nothing better than to write with honest about the dishonesty of life and relationships.

And there reaches a level of comfortableness in honesty that is impenetrable. Imagine if I presented as one thing, and behind closed doors  - was an entirely different person. Imagine if I only wrote in a way that presented me in the best light.  To be good at writing, you have to be honest, because if you aren't  - there will come a day when everyone realises that every thing you said, everything you presented to be - was untrue.

There are no words that could adequately describe how scary that would be.

Honesty is always the best policy.


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