After nearly 13 years, the exact wording of my marriage vows is fuzzy in my mind. However, I’m fairly certain they didn’t contain the phrase, “I shall not pee in front of you.”
Nevertheless, it’s been a marital law that stood the test of time long after rules about drinking out of milk cartons and not going to bed angry have fallen by the wayside.
Modesty isn’t the issue. It has more to do with a desire not to kill the romance with bodily functions best performed behind the privacy of a closed door.
It’s something that crossed my mind yesterday when I commented on Twitter that I was slashing a scene from LET IT BREATHE. The scene wasn’t terrible, but it slowed the pace and just wasn’t as strong as I thought it could be.
A few Twitter followers suggested I add a deleted scenes section to my website. It’s not a bad idea, and I don’t judge authors who do it any more than I judge pals who piddle bravely before their spouses.
But I’m refraining from both, for pretty much the same reasons. The way people perceive my writing is important to me, and I’m guarded about what I’ll throw out there for public consumption. While I have critique partners I’ll allow to view the “warts and all” versions of my writing, I’m not willing to put that out there for my agent, editor, or even blog readers to see.
I know that might seem strange considering how often I share embarrassing stories about my inept behavior, but there’s a line there for me. I’m confident my tales of hurking in my underwear or licking the floor at the doctor’s office or waxing off my eyebrow represent my writing skills well.
Maybe not my social skills, but the writing is something I'm proud of.
When it comes to offering up writing to my agent, editor, or just about anyone else whose opinion I treasure, I want to keep the romance alive. While I'm sure everyone is aware I occasionally produce crap, that doesn't mean I want them to see it.
Er, metaphorically speaking.
Do you have strict rules about who’s allowed to see your “warts and all” writing? Is there a certain level of polish you require before putting something out there? Please share.
And, um…please don’t feel you need to share your bathroom habits. Really, I'm OK without knowing that.