Self-Censorship in Writing
We've all heard of censorship, been incensed by it, and devoured a number of those devilish books to see what all the fuss was over... Most often when the word, 'censorship' gets bandied about in conversation, it illicets visions of small minded people building bon fires to burn hard written work that they have never bothered to read or understand... It is a thing of ignorance more often than anything.
Though that form of censorship is a far reaching topic, and one I may expound on at a later date, what I'm thinking of here is far more ominous... the writer's worst enemy: Self Censorship!!!!
There is a wonderful thing that happens to most writers during the course of creating their vision, the muse takes over and words you didn't have to try for just pour forth as if something greater than meager little you is moving your pen (or fingers across the keyboard, as the case may be). But so many times, what is true in your writing, what is most heartfelt and honest, is squelched by the person who should be championing these words the most; you, the writer.
There are numerous reasons for this type of censorship, but it never fails to weaken the truth of the telling. If it is fiction, there is an underlying worry that friends, family, enemies, etc... will detect some bit of themselves in the characters and balk, or be offended. Worse still, they will fail to understand the difference between fact and fiction and will assume that the main character's feelings, thoughts, and actions are the author's. What if your main character is an ass, racist, bum, drunken circus performer.... it may make for excellent fiction, but do you want your mother in law eyeing you over the Thanksgiving Turkey, waiting with bated breath for you to break out your unicyle and juggle, while yelling racial epitaphs?
This is a large and ever reaching topic, and I would like to expound on it in future blogs... Any input would be great. Let me know what you guys think...