Friday, August 1, 2008

Nothing like a bit of controversy!

UPDATE 8/3/2008: It looks like the posting has been removed. I'm guessing that with this round of the contest over, Deb and Jodee at FWJ decided not to keep an article with questionable language "live". Sorry if you missed the piece; it did make quite a splash!


There's a post at Freelance Writing Gigs that's stirring up tons of old-fashioned controversy.

Written by the anonymous "Candidate #12", a contestant in FWJ's Idol contest, the piece has generated tons of comments.

Some people are offended by the tone of the post. Others find it confusing. I find it quite inspirational and witty.

What's your take?

Is it over-the-top or does it motivate you to get your tush in gear?


SzélsőFa said...

I found the post creative.
I think it might help writers, newbies or more experienced ones alike.
But not everyone. Not every advice is succesful for anyone.
And, although I swear a lot when among friends, family and alone, I do not like to read swear words. But again BUT, this was now a just case to use the word 'bitch'.

At the same time, I would never, EVER call my Muse a bitch. My respect and admiration towards it refrains me from using any bad language or swearing, whatever.

PS: I tried to use simple sentences but still I'm sure my mixed emotions come accross. I hope I made myself clear :)

Deb said...

The problem isn't so much the post - it's well written and fun - it's more that the candidate didn't use very good judgement when choosing her words - one in particular.

I've been reading all over about what I prude I am - BUT - this is my business and I have to consider my readers and my sponsors. I don't think it sets a very good example for an opening line (or any line, to be honest) to include profanity. Besides, my community has said many times they don't wish for negativity.

I do wish the candidate had come to me and talked to me first before publishing something with strong language. Especially when you consider this is a job interview.



The Quoibler said...


That's interesting that you have a high degree of respect for your muse! I find that fascinating!



Don't get me wrong -- I think that you're 100% entitled to set a certain standard for the blog. And I don't know if b**ch fits into that standard.

Though I love the piece, I'm still not certain I can vote for it in this round, mainly because I have to consider whether #12 will work with you and Jodee in a manner that won't end negatively.

Thanks for popping in and voicing your concerns! And you're not a prude -- just a business person with direction!


Deb said...

And thank you for your perspective, Angelique - and especially for being a regular at FWJ.

SzélsőFa said...

It's not much of a fascination for me, Angelique, it's plain logic - my Muse supplies me. Helps me.

How can one bite the hand that gives?
How can one NOT respect one's loving and careful parents for example?
I see that some people think about their Muse in a different way, I acknowledge that some people are different, but again, I'm different, too.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm with szelsofa on this one. I read the entire post & its comments (heckuva way to spend a Friday night; I know, I'm a loser).

I don't care about using the word bitch. I think more profanity should be used if it's in step with the tone a piece is taking. Would I say bitch in an interview? Well, no. But in my most recent interview I did use "bullshit." On purpose And I'm a minister (yes, I am.)

BUT - here's where I'm with szel - the violence of the piece disturbs me. The condescension, the negativity, the teenage stereotypes (HATE those)...I found the post distasteful. My muse is still a part of me, and to dishonor it is to dishonor myself. NOT a helpful trick for me in terms of being an authentic person.

Then again, I'm not a freelance writer or a published author, so what the hell do I know?

:) Thanks for sharing this,Ang. It was very interesting.

The Quoibler said...


Hey there!

I can see where you're coming from. I think I had a kinder, gentler relationship with my Muse before I began freelance writing for clients (as opposed to writing just for myself.)

It really changed when I needed the Muse, so her fickleness became a liability! Hence, a less laid-back approach to her sometime-lethargy. :)

What I find most interesting of all is that the voting for the next round of this FWJ Idol contest is taking place (check the site at and Candidate #12's piece is currently last in the running, despite having generated 89 comments.


Mary Witzl said...

I weighed in, for what it was worth. Honestly, I didn't think this post was negative or that it was potentially difficult for novices to understand. It made a good and important point. And I while I generally eschew violence and obscenity, hey, it worked here.