Listen to the Mustn'ts, child, listen to the Don'ts.
Listen to the Shouldn'ts, the Impossibles, the Won'ts.

Listen to the Never Haves, then listen close to me.
Anything can happen, child, Anything can be.

-Shel Silverstein

Friday, May 25, 2012

Censorship Sucks

I received an email this week that the 15 pages of my new novel are due June 4th. PLUS...a 1 page and a 3 page synopsis of the novel. I am a little freaked out by the synopsis part. I've never written a synopsis, let alone a 3 page one that is interesting.

Guess what I will be doing with my Memorial Day weekend? It should be a nice break from cleaning my doggie-floors!

This week I have been thinking a lot about censorship.

I used to be very open, bold even, in my blogging. I used to LOVE blogging. But I received a lot of criticism, enough that I stopped blogging altogether for a few years because, if I couldn't say what I really thought/meant/wanted...what was the point?

I am finding that is true with my writing as well. I am worried about who will read it and what they will think, that they will frown upon me because I am too...me. Because "Me" is not like anyone else around. Not even close.

I have wanted to quit writing altogether because of self-censorship. It is hard to hang one's metaphorical heart on one's sleeve and keep from being made a fool in the process. In fact, I daresay it's impossible. I am trying to write my entire new manuscript without using one swear word or edgy, inappropriate theme. And I'll be honest. It ain't easy.

The real question is--am I brave enough to keep writing AND stop the self-censorship?

I don't know if I am. I can see myself getting published and then being ridiculed beyond what I can handle. How dare I write books for young adults that are truthful and raw and still call myself a "good person"?

They tell me to change what I think, say and write and then they will accept me. Did they ever think that perhaps it's not me that has the problem? But it doesn't matter. I'm still the one that has to live with it.

Censorship sucks.


  1. Don't give up! You are a brave girl who should keep writing!!

  2. Your post reminds me of a quandry that plagues me often. If helping other people makes us feel better about ourselves, then doesn't being a good server of people make you more of a sinner than a saint? It's selfish. The bottom line is, you do it because in the end it is really helping YOU! Hmmmm...

    So who are you writing for? And WHY are you writing? Because you have something of value to say and you want to share it with the world. And what compels you to trudge through all these obstacles to share it? Because it's hard...and it will make you feel good. It will also make others feel good. Which will make you feel good.
    To those who think they can tell you what to say and how to say it...well, you can do one of two things. You can listen and see if listening leads to growing in a way you couldn't have done by only listening to yourself. Or you can shut them out, say what needs to be said in your own way, and teach them a thing or two yourself.
    I think end the end it will be a balance of both things. We all have something to teach and we all have something to learn.
    Keep on. You have a gift. Use it, hone it, and darn it, don't be afraid to share it!

  3. Oh and one more thing. Do you think the guy that wrote "The Sugar Frosted Nutsack" had publishers praising him for his material? If I had to guess I'd say he kinda went out on a limb. Just sayin.

  4. I feel you on this one! I censor myself so much it effects my Facebook updates, tweets and blog. :/ I keep hoping I'll grow out of it, that I'll have the courage to say "Whatever, who cares if they don't like it/ don't think I'm funny/get offended," but I have this weird problem where I actually DO care.

    There have been a few times, however, where I've realized I'm putting too much energy into worrying what the reactions of others will be, and that if I'm being honest with myself/true to my expression, then other people's opinions don't matter as much. Same goes for you. You are a story teller, so do that. Not everyone is going to relate, but it's still a story worth telling.

    Be true to yourself, so says your fellow self-censorship-er. ;)