Goddamned mother-fucking bitch-ass cunt, shit. There. I said it. But why? Because I use those words far too often. I’m not usually one for New Year’s resolutions, as I think change should not be brought about simply because the date changed. But the New Year is as good a time as any and resolutions are on the minds of many. So I make this change in accordance with my beliefs and in the spirit of the New Year.

Changing for the better is a huge part of my paradigm. There are things about myself, ways in which I sometimes behave, that I do not like. And I try my best to continually change and become the person I think I should be, someone I can be proud of being. I’m working on changing a few core things, mostly in how I perceive and react to events and circumstance.

Curbing my tendency to use explicit language is a small change that I think will have a large impact on my overall way of interacting with the world around me, the people I encounter, and the ones I call friends, family and loved ones. I’m removing such words from my vocabulary not because they are vulgar, I think vulgarity has its place in a writer’s toolbox; it’s about respect. Using them in anger is terrible and disrespectful. It diminishes the respect people hold for yourself as well. And when used in passing, I think it speaks poorly of your intelligence, wit and appreciation of the English language.

Reliance on them in writing cuts away from creativity and style. I see this in my book The Dark Roast. I wanted to include them because I thought they added authenticity to dialogue and expressed the depth of emotion experienced by the characters. In retrospect, I was wrong. They are shallow words. They are inadequate and too wide to truly convey the thoughts and feelings of my characters. They distract and diminish.

That’s not to say they can’t pack the right amount of punch if used sparingly and in the right place. But I think those situations are few and must be limited in their use, if at all. There’s simply too many wonderful words to choose from and they all reside deeper in our lexicon.

So no more cursing like a sailor, even though I am a pirate. Because I’m better than that, and my friends and my writing deserve better, more thoughtful and respectful words than the four-letter ones I’ve already used too much.