The One About Being F—ing Inoffensive

The One About Being F—ing Inoffensive

I keep reading all these advice columns for writers. (Really, I should stop. I know.) And one thing that keeps coming up again and again is that, for the love of all that is holy, we writers should never, ever say anything that might offend anyone at anytime because heaven forbid we should lose a book sale.

Let me be clear. I am not in favor of losing book sales. I love me some book sales. I want to see copies of my books wallpapering airports and Costcos across the land. And that’s exactly why I think this is really stupid advice. (Oh, wait. Was that offensive?)

Inoffensive is another word for boring, and nothing will lose you readers faster than putting them to sleep.

Writers should have a distinct voice. Some people won’t like your voice. Tough.

Writers should have something to say. Some people won’t like what you say. Deal.

Writers should, in short, be bad-ass intellectual motherfuckers. (Except maybe me because I write funny books with corpse-licking Chihuahuas in them. But, you know, still.)

In honor of this, all the really offensive things I’ve been keeping to myself, in no particular order:

1. The Simpsons are not funny. (Sometimes, I admit, socially astute. But not funny.)

2. Unlike The Simpsons, there is nothing redeeming about The Three Stooges. Really. Nothing.

3. I don’t like dogs very much. There. I said it. I don’t.

4. I am inordinately fond of Cat Stevens.

5. I refuse to call him Yusuf, and I don’t care if that’s disrespectful. I can’t ever remember it. Just now I had to look it up, so I could type it.

6. Pescetarian-ism is stupid. So is the word, which only came into being in 1993.

7. We must conclude 1993 was not a very good year.

8. I wear fur, and I like it.

9. I hate sharing a lane at the pool because I am selfish. I want the whole lane. All of it. Mine. Don’t even think about suggesting “circle swim.”

10. Cooked fruit is gross. Stop it.

And as a bonus:

11. There is no logical reason you should not be allowed to end a sentence with a preposition. No reason I can think of.

(God, I hope somebody got that last joke. Otherwise I’m such a hopeless geek.)

3 Comments

  • Jackie Vick

    02.09.2009 at 20:26

    Thank you! Even though I disagree with some of the items on your list, I swear that will never keep me from purchasing your book. See? You can be yourself and STILL sell books. In fact, I may go buy another copy of Landmarked for Murder in honor of you.

  • Janice

    02.09.2009 at 21:32

    Babe, you know I got your grammar-geek back!

  • Janice

    03.09.2009 at 01:45

    But you do know I think you’re bonkers about the cooked fruit, right?