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.



  1. Sounds like I need to get a copy of this book! Funnily enough, I’ve always thought about writing an autobiography one day and what I would say. Things that would be exposed, things that my friends didn’t even know about me and it’s scary! I don’t think I have the guts to do it. So I commend you for being very brave and I can’t wait to read what you end up posting 🙂

    1. It’s really fantastic (and also, witty!) I think you may be able to grab yourself a copy at your state library shop? 😀

      I kind of think of my blog as an autobiographical work in it’s self – which is why I’m trying to blog about more personal things – or even when I’m blogging about clothes, I’ll try and put a little bit more “Jayne’s Thoughts On This” into it, so when I get old and crusty, I can laugh at myself.

      Because we’ll all probably be wearing space suits by then.

      (I Hope).

  2. M says:

    well that’s the same with anything
    like while writing a blog
    how much do you say, how much do you not say
    do you want to be true to yourself
    but potentially alienate your readers?
    what do you reveal ? what do you not reveal?
    naturally this apply to writing as well but more so in real life
    because the results and imminent

    1. Very true –
      I guess it’s because I’m naturally outspoken and usually say total crap before I think (I also break out in this impressive lobster dance, which keeps my co-workers amused for hours). But, I guess writing immortalises it? Even if my random mumblings are in web-format, it still has a sense of permanence about it!

      My only hope if that my jelly-mold of weird doesn’t freak too many readers out.


  3. “cruel to be kind” Hamlet said it best (shakespeare nerd) I think you should do it. It’s what the blogshpere (yep I just said “blogsphere”) lacks. Most people start off with a blog wanting to express their true self, sometimes a true self they don’t want people in their personal world to know, but then get swept up in a little bit of fame and turn a cool blog into a fanservice one. I’d love to read your future articles, debates, whatever…they’d seemed really educated..you seem very educated

    not saying theres nothing wrong with a puff piece every once and a while. Everyone likes a little sweetness every now and again..

    1. I’ve always wanted a completely honest and frank blog – although I’ve never been certain if that’s what people want to read! Which brought me to a massive self-inflicted conundrum – a balance between what I wanted to write – and what my audience would actually want to subject their eyes to.

      I’ve always loved “article” writing, and most of my posts run along the same style – but damn, I love shopping! PUFF pieces are great to let the brain go a little slack and just cruise along through a post!

      Educated? Me?
      Oh, you flatter!

  4. The Girl Without Ambition – don’t you love the graphic design on the front?! AMAZING

    Andy has taught me how to say somewhat unedited things – like “in case you see someone more important than me today – you need a mint”

    and YES tinted moisturizer is just matte acrylic paint on yu fehce

    1. I love the design! It’s why I love going to secondhand book stores – I just pull out random covers and gawk at their beauty!


      Haha, classic! I’ve got as much tact as a piece of apple pie. /HighFiveForAwesomeness

  5. ill buy your book if you release one 😀
    and i get what you mean with the whole “black sheep” thing.. asian families!

    1. YESSSSSSS … Now to find a helluva lot of other people to bribe convince to purchase my book.


      Ugh, Asian families are professionals at pulling the Guilt Trip. It is madness and a half!

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