,Years ago, a work friend told me a story about another work acquaintance who was going in for a mammogram but couldn’t get the large door-knocker style nipple rings from her pierced nipples. Her husband had to use vice grips to remove the piercings the night before. This friend telling me obviously thought I knew about our coworker’s piercings… I did not, till then. We both had a good laugh about it envisioning what this had to look like, a semi-surgical home procedure at the kitchen table after the kids were in bed.
I never judged this woman for her choice to pierce this body part, but I will admit when I was in meetings with her after that, I was discreetly looking at her chest trying to figure out what kind of bra she wore that hid such large jewelry. I had noticed nothing unusual in the past. My bra, though properly padded, allowed the world to see when I was cold, so I couldn’t figure out what kind of bra would hide something as large as what she wore. It intrigued me.
I also wondered why she pierced them, how badly did it hurt at the time, and other sexual things related to them being pierced. Still, there was no judgement in my attention to this, just curiosity.
I realized through this that all kinds of things make people see others differently just because of knowledge they suddenly have that they did not before. It might be as benign as leading to curiosity or as severe as actually judgement.
I bring this up related to my writing as I encountered this last weekend. While at a social gathering, a friend referred to my book, Destined & Redeemed and the racy content, jokingly saying she’d never have guessed I have that kind of wild streak in me. But it gave me pause, not that I thought writing and publishing an erotic romance book would be cheered and accepted by everyone. I knew there would be those who would judge what kind of person I am to write this content, but I truly discounted this as anyone who knows me, knows what kind of person I am. Anyone who does not, well, they are not a friend, so quite frankly their opinion does not matter to me.
In putting yourself out there, your creativity, your thoughts, you are opening yourself up to curiosity and judgement. It goes with the territory. Did it bother me? No. But it reminded me of the pierced nipples coworker and my curiosity when interacting with her after I knew, making me realize that some may have similar thoughts or feelings about me now, just because of the content of my books.
I’d like to say to them, seriously folks! It’s fiction. But I know it is something deeper. It is my creativity, my thoughts, how mind works that has now piqued others curiosity, intrigue, or judgement. Does this change what I will write in the future? Absolutely not! But it brings to me an awareness and a respect for other people’s thoughts and feelings. They are entitled to their opinion, just as I am mine. Being aware of these things is important. Knowledge is power and the written word carries with it a lot more than what most people think it does.
A word written that is not read, is lonely and sad.