Choosing Our Words Wisely on Rosh Hashanah, and Always

rosh-hashanah-2016


About one week ago, my website went down. It was completely unexpected, and took me quite by surprise. I can’t express how miserable I’d been feeling for the past four days or so because of my site having been removed. Go figure, when you create a website you have to maintain payments and credit card information for hosting and for your domain name. Being that this was my first website, other than my Blogspot account which I didn’t have to pay for, I was clueless in that regard. My credit card declined, and I needed to give them a different card.


I’m not the type to wait until the last second to do things, and especially when I care about them. However, I never received any reminder emails or notifications except for one which I acted on the very second I received it, which was apparently a second too late. They took down my site, and I’ve been feeling torn up inside for a little under a week like I said.


The site is obviously up and running now, because you’re reading this very article. However, a certain amount of things were unretrievable and lost like 13 articles or so, etc. The reason that I’m sharing this with everyone is because this coincidentally happened around Rosh Hashanah.


For a good period, people have been telling me that the way I will become a better writer and get to the next point with my writing skills is to “keep it real” more and open up about my past and personal life. I knew that that would be very challenging for me because of my beliefs as far as not speaking bad about others, even when it’s true.


I’ve read many books. Many which have been instilled in my mind and soul as far as lashon hara, rechilut, and onoas dvorim. In Judaism, we’re taught not to speak poorly about others in order to prevent anyone from feeling even the slightest bit of pain. We’re able to control our actions and our words, and there’s no need to spill the beans and speak about anything when you’re a writer if it’s going to hurt people, even when you change the names to protect their privacy. You see, even when you change people’s names as a writer, those people might think that you’re writing specifically about them, and that alone can cause them pain or heartache in some way.


Frankly, I don’t need to open up about my private life because I like my privacy, and I’m already an open book in the way that I talk, and there’s no need for me to be any more open than you, or the next person. My writing might be different in comparison to someone that “keeps it real” in their approach towards getting their points across or even towards those that prefer to write in a way that they share their personal life stories and past. However, for me personally it’s not going to happen. Not only do I personally feel that it’s unnecessary for me to do the same, but I feel that a lot of people could end up being hurt or feeling sad in some way from me writing about them or things that I’ve gone through, and especially if they think or know that they were a part of the stories and articles.


This is NOT written towards any particular person, so please understand that these are merely my thoughts and feelings.


I don’t really believe in coincidence all that much. But then again, I’m also not very superstitious. I don’t need an “Open Book Confessions” section in order to be open book and to share my feelings and thoughts with the world.  I personally feel that I’ve already been doing that for over two years now and it’s working out pretty well if I do say so myself. I’m well aware that everyone’s going to have an opinion – just as I’ve written before. But, I also have an opinion on this matter. I’m my own boss. That’s right folks, I’m the big cheese of my blogs, and you’re only going to get bits and pieces of personal information from my life and my past when it’s relevant and when I’m open to sharing it.


Rosh Hashanah 2016


Rosh Hashanah is the New Year for the Jewish people. It’s a time where we should all have a fresh, clean slate, where we choose to be good, and better ourselves. It’s a time of deep cleansing of our souls, and to think about the past year and how we can improve ourselves for the upcoming year, if we are so blessed and fortunate to experience it. As well, it’s a time where many Jewish people have a tradition of asking all of the people in their life (not exclusively loved ones) if they’d forgive them for all of their sins, and any hurt or pain that they might’ve caused them in their life, hoping for their forgiveness. 


When I was writing articles in the new section “My Open Book Confessions,” I felt truly drained, but not because the articles tended to be longer than some of my previous ones. But more so, because it was hard to write about people despite the truth that I’d written, and despite the fact that I changed the names of the people I was writing about.


I don’t feel that it’s necessary to publicly call people out on their sh… or to even put hidden innuendos so that people will learn from their mistakes. I’m not here to correct anyone. I don’t believe that publicly humiliating people is a part or a necessity of being a great writer, and I’m not going to contribute to it.


Just because someone “keeps it real” when they write doesn’t mean that they have to hurt people with the way that they write. I’d much rather be the type of writer that writes from her heart and her experiences in order to help other people, than to write about my own personal life and stories that I’ve gone through so that people can get to know me more on a personal level. Don’t get me wrong, because if there comes a point in time where I get interviewed for any of my best-selling books (G-d Willing), I’m sure that I’ll open up somewhat more about my life, and my past.


Part of being a great blogger is spreading out your work and articles throughout social media. But I’m sure that many people can agree, whether they’re a blogger or despite their career choice, it’s good to keep some things private and to embrace your privacy to some extent. I already wear my heart on my sleeve, but to put my heart on my sleeve and post it throughout social media won’t do me or anyone else any good. Even though, I’d be considered “more relatable” in some ways.


The funny thing is, I’ve been writing from my heart and experiences the whole time. I just pick and choose my words wisely, and have preferred to “keep it real” in my own way.


I wanted to take this moment to wish all of the people reading this article, and all others a very beautiful New Year to come. Wishing you all happiness, health, prosperity, LOVE, and that you’ll all be inscribed in the book of life. L’Shana Tova and G-d Bless.

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Anne Cohen

Founder, Owner, Writer, and Editor at Anne Cohen Writes
Anne Cohen is a lifestyle and relationship blogger based in Los Angeles, CA. Her blogs are Anne Cohen and Anne Cohen Writes. She contributes to various publications including The Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and many more. She's passionate about love, writing, chess, and more than anything, her two kids.
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