A great photographer once proclaimed that the secret to becoming a great photographer was to surround yourself with the best photography available. I’m assuming this also applies to writing and have thus picked, book by book, literature containing the style of writing I would like to someday
copy, like the horrible person I am emulate. After having a good read of Benjamin Law’s, The Family Law, I have decided that to be a real writer, you have to be brutally honest. So brutally honest, people begin to think that you suffer from Asperger’s and are a budding sociopath. Startlingly, I actually don’t have much of a problem with this – stories about my own bumbling mistakes are fairly easy to translate into words to release into the WWWs, but trying to type about my friends and family becomes a horrible warpath of “Should I say this?” or “Should I mention that?” queries so torturous, they make my head spin so vigorously I can envision my eyes spinning comically around in their sockets.
All of Mr. Law’s combined works maintain a sense of honesty about one’s self and one’s family – and not only the surface stuff – like “My sister had ravaging acne” but more of a “My father was horribly detached and uninvolved in my childhood because his own father, although loving and caring, was not present throughout his childhood. And then his father died.” sort of manner. This sort of outwardly honest charisma is unfamiliar territory for me – and I became even more uncomfortable reading this when I found out that Mr. Law was a friend’s lecturer and his sister was said friend’s acquaintance. After this startling revelation, and after a certain amount of squealing in unexplainable glee*, I began to question if I too, could do the same thing to my family. Would the members of my massive, extended family be keen to let me share their most morbid and freaky fetishes? Would I have the balls (metaphorically, of course) to be able to expose, not only myself, but shamelessly spotlight the flaws in my loving parents, loving sibling, loving boyfriend, loving friends, possibly loving random plethora of second cousins scattered all over the Australian countryside/Malaysian jungle and possibly less-loving ex-boyfriends, to the scathing critique of internet anons?
Worse still, would I be disowned for airing my family’s dirty laundry? Airing one family’s dirty laundry has always been taboo – but feels much worse when you’re subjected to the combined staring of your Asiatic peers as they quickly label your broad, genetically-acquired forehead with “BLACK SHEEP”. Knowing that a full 100% of my relatives are fluent with the English language fails to help matters. The whole idea would be a so much easier if they were all FOB-alicious, but they’re not. DAMN YOU OVERACHIEVER ATTITUDE AND BONE-BREAKING PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM (Yes, 80% of my cousins went to public schools, and the full 100% of that 80% became some sort of School Captain. I myself begrudgingly won the title of Economics Captain, a subject I now refuse to poke with a 10ft pole).
In an effort to familiarise myself with the concept of BRUTAL HONESTY, I did what any respectable researcher would do and flexed my Google-fu muscles. Google managed to dredge this wonderful article up on eHow, appropriately titled: How to Be Brutally Honest.
Things You’ll Need:
* The ability to tell someone something that they may not want to hear without hurting their feelings or causing enemies.
Tips & Warnings:
* If you are fortunate enough to have a friend that you know will always be honest with you, that friend has a special value. Remember that sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
How to Be Brutally Honest
1. Speak truthfully but avoid being negative all of the time. Be brutally honest but also be kind at times.
2. Remember to differentiate between fact and just your opinion. In other words, your opinion may be that a friend looks fat in that outfit. However, it would be a fact if a friend had a bad body odor.
3. Share your true thoughts when asked and sometimes you may have to say something even when not asked. If your friend has some bogus breath, you have to tell them.
4.Tell your friend if they are making a fool of themselves about a relationship they may be in. You can say what is on your mind and let them know but still stand behind them even when they make stupid choices.
While I was in the pocess of altering this advice to complement a Brutally Honest writing style, I was rudely distracted by the the autolinks that came up underneath this article. They were all related to bad-breath. I mean, you have to LOL at that. YOU JUST HAVE TO. Cue: Screen-shot Proof.
So now I’m working on becoming a writer who will let leash on pretty much any topic at hand and as an obnoxious twenty-something year-old, I have a pretentious opinion on every topic under the sun. From the “Leggings are not pants” debate to “Tinted Moisturiers Are Useless Bottles Of Stinky Poo Coloured Crud” rants, my banging bucket brain is full of noisy swag. But what I’ll be working on the most is letting you all into the workings of my mind, less of exposing my innocent and loving family, but stripping my own embarrassing stories into a collection of clanging consonants and vowels for your amusement (and to aid my own, twenty-three year-old flailing memory). The Family Law has changed my life. And soon, you’ll learn so much more about mine, you’ll begin to feel like me too.
Now isn’t that a scary thought.
* Name dropping makes me happy like that. Also, the thought that Mr. Law was also a Brisbanite increased my chances of “Running Into Him Accidentally And Pretending To Play It Cool While Squealing Like A Little Girl On The Inside” – pretty cool, right? That’s me. Cool.