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Being edgy, controversial, hot… That’s what grabs attention.
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Being edgy, controversial, hot… That’s what grabs attention.  That’s what reaches and engages readers.  Right?

Maybe.  Maybe not.  Maybe it’s just one piece of the puzzle.

There are a lot of ‘edgy’ writers I dig.  They fling a curse word or two around in their blogs.  They have cute catchy blog titles.  But most important for me, is the overall quality of their content.

Admittedly, I have a mildly snarky communication style in my writing.  I’m not a big fan of dropping the ‘F-Bomb’ or tossing in other curse words.  Yet around the house I’ve been known to let a few expletives fly now and then; when the mood really calls for it.

So here’s the thing all you wanna-be-writers …. You need to find your true writing voice.  When what you’re writing doesn’t flow naturally from your brain through your finger tips, it will show.  It will feel just as forced to your readers as it was to you as the writer.

Tossin’ in a curse word here and there doesn’t automatically make you ‘edgy’ or ‘bold’ or ‘controversial’.   If it’s not part of your natural communication process, it’ll just make you sound like a dork.  Or worse… A lame-ass-wanna-be copy cat.

I guess by now at word 211 most of you have figured out this is a rant of sorts.  I’m always eager to learn what other people are writing about, what they’re in to, what sparks their passion.  So… I followed a link to a blog from a tweet that promised an exciting edgy read. 

It wasn’t.  It was a lame string of curse words on a ridiculous topic.  No, I’m not going to subject you to it by providing a link or giving the poster any more undue attention.  That’s really not what this post is about.

This post also isn’t a soap box sermon on ‘being yourself’… Or, is it?  I don’t know.  It’s just so damn disappointing to see so many people trying to ride the controversial edge only by writing strings of curse words.  You have to be good at that to make it work for you.

For example:

George Carlin, god rest his soul (or not since… well, you know).  That man could string together the most artistically woven litany of verbal filth it was simply a treat to hear.  George was a true master wordsmith embracing every emotional level of communication.

Then, still with us whether we like it or not, is Lisa Lampanelli.  A fantastically creative insult/shock comic, she’ll make you laugh and feel like you’re open-mouth kissing a dirty ashtray at the same time.  Lisa gives you an uncomfortable sort of happy.

Kathy Griffin is one of my favorite disseminators of crude language.  Contained within the pixie-like package that is her often comes cussing that is more well-timed than a Swiss clock.  Kathy also gets bonus points for being a ginger, like me.

Aside from weaving together curse words like the fiber of fine Chinese Silk, George, Lisa and Kathy are total message masters.  It’s not the cussing that makes them ‘edgy’.  It’s their open willingness to take topics that society are taboo and comfortably, even joyously lay them out on the table for us to gluttonously ingest.

Being controversial… Be edgy isn’t just about foul language.  It’s about your overall style of communication and your ability to openly discuss what isn’t ‘safe’.

© 2011 All Rights Reserved By Peter Gault ~ Topical Content

George Carlin Video courtesy of YouTube embedding licensing terms with all content copyrights attributed to original creators.

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