CENSORSHIP … AVOID IT LIKE THE PLAGUE

When I started to do this podcast / blog I sent out a couple emails to people just to let them know what I was doing, and mostly because I knew they would probably be interested in the content, being that they were writers as well (unpublished or not). A couple of the emails when out to people in my writers workshop group at Squaw Valley, and to be quite honest, if writer’s blog when out on the open market, you could probably get a couple hundred for a dime, so I really didn’t get much response. In fact, most of my REAL friends haven’t even read or want to read my blog, and only a few listen to the podcast (which kicks serious ass). I guess that’s a pretty strong testimony about how popular this blog is (it actually gets quite a few hits a day, I’m just playing.). When I did get an email back, it was pretty positive. However, I did get the email that I mention in my podcast, and I will refer to here … the one that said something about a certain sanctity of the workshop, and how if I reveled the goings on of said goings on I COULD actually be in violation of the law. Now I exaggerate, of course, but to be quite literal, I’m not too far off of the tone of the email. In fact, I forwarded the note onto a friend of mine, who’s a lawyer, and he actually told me to back off saying anything (which by the way, anything I can or would say would have been matter of fact and boring … absolutely NOTHING of significance went on during any workshop worthy of note, and the only way it would even be entertaining in the slightest would be for me to take off on what happened and offer up my brand of opinion.). He actually said the email was a bit hostile, which of course I didn’t think because I actually know this girl, and I think she’s private more than anything …although she did pull out a Starr Jones trademark line by stating that she WAS indeed a lawyer, so who knows, huh?

I have actually decided that too much about this has been said, and this week on my podcast I will actually move on from the conference, which was kind of boring anyway, and move onto my life of being an unpublished writer, which is less boring. But it got me to thinking about censorship, and awful it is. I really liked last week’s podcast, but when I started talking about work shopping in general I felt it lay flat. I felt like there was something missing, and indeed there was … the truth. I wrote in my first blog, that I had written a novel about ten years ago, and it was completely awful. I actually felt sorry for anyone who had to read it, and although I’m not ready to tell you what I was hiding (I of course, will soon), I am ready to tell you that it made the words lay flat and dull.

I talk about truth a lot when I do these blogs, and in fact I think that a personal sense of truth is the most important thing a writer can possess. I remember when I wrote my first novel; I kept trying to skate around topics that I didn’t want anyone to know about me, and I thought in doing so I was being oh so clever, but in reality I wasn’t. Last night I asked someone I was seeing to tell me something that no one else knows, and of course the answer was worthy of a sixth date, and told me nothing. When I was posed the same question I said that there was nothing that was secret with me since I was a writer. I meant that, but of course it’s not true. So I left out a really important thing, and the rest of our conversation just lay there. So I censored the truth, and it caused this little rift that just got bigger and bigger. The next morning I accidentally left out a vial of pheromones that were specifically designed to suppress depression and when it was found and questioned I eked out a lame answer, and the topic was dropped. What I didn’t say that night, and again that morning, was that I had been on a pretty heavy dose of antidepressants for the past eight years, and the dose I’m on now kills any chance of getting an erection. When we started dating I stopped taking them so that I would have the opportunity to get close to someone again, and that the vial of pheromones weren’t working very well (at all), and I stay in a constant state of implied panic that the depression will continue to return. The depression will return, and that is the truth

That’s a real life example of how when you censor yourself it affects your relationships and conversations. When I was taking my online writing course, one girl asked if she should use a pseudonym to protect people and herself when she writes. She had heard of a young woman who wrote a pretty conservative piece of journalism, and she got taunted and later stalked for it. I thought about that a lot, and I decided that no matter what name you use you are the author, and no matter how hard you try to say neutral you’re not. Everyone knows, even though I don’t use my last name, or even a first name that’s given, who Kael is, and I learned a long time ago that I have to deal with that aspect of needing a forum to maintain a level of sanity that belongs to me.

I urge you as writers not to censor your thoughts, and unload everything onto a page, like I try to do. You have no idea how important it is to art, and equally important to your state of wellbeing. Even if the material is completely untrue, I think you need to find your moment of self in there somewhere. Kael

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.