Don't Start With Me
And other things I hope I never said.
My friends love my kid’s newsletter…
…is what I assume, because I love my kid’s newsletter. (Crying in Public, by Taylor Kay Phillips on Substack.) But honestly, now that I think about it, only a few people who saw that one issue I posted on Facebook have said enough to indicate they even read it.
Just now as I was looking at her Substack account to figure out how to set mine up, I saw that Taylor quoted me in her welcome page. “I can’t show this to my friends if you curse this much.”– My Mom
I know I NEVER said that. But, also…hmmmm, maybe I said it. Because I’ve thought it.
She cusses. My kid uses the F-bomb like she should use a comma. But she’s a grown-a$$ woman, and I need to get over it.
Okay, I’m over it. (It seems like I did it real quick there, but I’ve been working on it awhile.)
You see, I raised two creative kids, and the last thing I want to be now is the last person they show their work to.
That’s what this newsletter is about, really. Being near people who act on their ideas is THE MOST ALIVE PLACE we can be, so I’m trying to make that my everyplace – by surrounding myself with creative people. And, by appreciating their work, f-bombs and all.
In my first book, Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone: Advice Your Mom Would Give If She Thought You Were Listening, I bundled advice for my daughters, trying to use words that would keep them out of harm’s way, while also thinking for themselves, as they started out their adult lives. In that book, I may or may not have written the words: “Profanity doesn’t make you sound more dramatic or serious. It just makes you sound #!%*ing profane.”
I’m not going to change the book, because that’s my work. And there’s a true message in there, which moms tell me is important for their daughters to hear – from people other than them.
I stand by what I wrote then, but I’m in a different place now. I’m finishing up a book called Start More Than You Can Finish, which is about taking the stopper out of the creativity bottle. Turns out, telling people you can’t show your friends their work is a hideous stopper.
My grown daughters are the people who teach and inspire me most. They act on their ideas, they take risks, and they support other creators. They get to decide what’s risky, offensive, and entertaining. They know their audiences. And I’m usually not it. (I can’t speak for my friends. I have pretty cool friends.)
Anyway, I can’t be absolutely certain, but I hope I never said things like:
• Be careful, people will think I didn’t raise you right.
• What would your grandma say if she saw this?
• Ladies don’t talk like that.
This newsletter starts a conversation about what we say – and should maybe stop saying – to the creators around us and within us.
I hope you’ll join the fun.