By Joanne Rock
I hesitate to get too personal sometimes. In blogging and in real life, I’m not one to share my private world with anyone unless I know them well. I tend to share the shined-up Joanne with most people, the “company version,” like a house that’s showroom ready for entertaining, with all the clutter and broken spots artfully hidden. This has proven a good and bad trait over the years.
On the plus side, most people like me since I have a good set of friend-ready qualities. I can keep a secret on lock down for as long as humanly possible. Go ahead, test me. If you tell me something in confidence, I guarantee you it’s going no further, not even to my cat. I also enjoy a good reputation among my peers for treating people fairly and kindly. No one can ever accuse me of airing dirty laundry on social media or sharing those annoying “Vague-Booking” posts where I point obvious fingers at others without officially naming names. I have good manners. I don’t interrupt others while they are speaking. Go me.
But on the downside, only sharing my shined-up face with the world makes me feel a little… unrelatable, I guess. Because all those good, happy things? That’s not the whole truth. There’s a whole wealth of struggles, angst and, yes, occasional bits of unhappy behavior below that polished surface. And I know that sharing our broken bits with others is what bonds us most, and what draws us to other people. Face it, you don’t want to befriend the girl in the room who looks like she’s never let a hair fall out of place. The one who uses archaic words like “befriend.” You want to go chat in the corner with the lively girl telling bawdy jokes and making everyone laugh.
I’m resolving to not be so shiny this year. To share more of my messy days, my imperfect thoughts and my real struggle to balance writing, family, marriage, and the hardships that come with trying to carry the world on my shoulders. We all do that. And if I can put my own experiences into words, maybe it will strike a chord with you and help you unload from your hard day too. That’s my hope. It won’t come naturally at first and I’ll have to work at it since my first instinct is always to say, “No worries. I’ve got this.” But I’m going to try.
Granted, the Joanne Rock remodel will probably never be the one telling the bawdy jokes. But I genuinely want to share more with my readers and followers so that you can know me—and I can know you—better. I was watching Good Will Hunting again recently and was struck by the Robin Williams’ character’s quote, “You’re not perfect, sport, and let me save you the suspense: this girl you’ve met, she’s not perfect either. But the question is whether or not you’re perfect for each other.” Throughout this thread of the movie, Will Hunting’s psychologist makes a beautiful plea for the way we connect with one another through out flaws. I found it newly inspiring.
***Today’s question is about character flaws… what heroine character flaw is your biggest pet peeve when reading? What quality in a heroine causes an eye roll? I’ve noticed that readers are always toughest on the heroine in a book (I am too!) so I thought this might be interesting to chat about. I’ve got a brand new ARC of SECRET BABY SCANDAL for one random commenter here or on the Writerspace Facebook page.