Fearless Writing

Editing and censorship are two things that concern me as a writer.  Here at WordPress our writing  and blogging is not checked by an editor, there are no facts checkers.  There is no one to make sure we fit within some established editorial guidelines, or send us back for rewrites if we go off the rails.  We make our own editorial policy.  We are our own editor and editorial staff.  Any censorship does not come from authorities above, but from within.

If you have been following  April’s Perspective for a while, you have stuck with me though some lean writing times.  These lean times are often called writer’s block.   This particular block was more thinking about what I want to write about and what I don’t  want to write about, rather than an inability to think of anything to write about.

There have been many emotional things in the news.  Politics, terrorists, violence of all kinds have created anger, frustration, and fear.  With thoughts dominated by events and emotions I find it hard to know what to say.  I try to take the reporter’s position of neutrality.   I don’t want to be in the middle of every issue.  Yet, I can not always avoid the urge to editorialize.

I have had personal concerns in addition to these worldly concerns.  I am not sure which family members may be reading, and less sure about what their reactions will be if they are reading.  On one hand, I long to share what I think with my family.  On the other hand, I fear to be found wanting as a writer, and maybe even as a person.  I fear that if I show too much of myself no one will be reading.

Writing has always been a way to explore my feelings. In a moment, I may rant and rave, and express extreme positions.  Upon reflection,  my feelings become more clear, and my words become refined as I learn what it is I really feel, and what I really wish to convey.  This is editing.  Editing is finding the best way to make an opinion clear for writer and reader.  Editing is rooting out errors and perfecting the writing.

It is censorship to avoid writing something due to a fear of rejection.  It is censorship to avoid writing, because you fear the ire of those who disagree.  Censorship due to fear is the worst kind.  It is not censorship by the government.   It is not censorship  by  management, and higher-ups.  It is self censorship.

Newspapers, magazines, news organizations of all kinds have people who do editorials.  Editorials are a respected form of expression.  People get paid for editorials, and base entire careers upon editorials.  Editorials are collected in books, re-read, and studied.  Not everyone is going to agree with an editorial.  If someone does not disagree with an editorial, does it mean everyone is in agreement.  If that is the case, don’t bother.  Editorials are designed to provoke thought and discussion.  Self-censorship halts both thought and discussion.

These are the thoughts I have had while not writing.  These are the thoughts I have seen other writers and bloggers struggling with.  I hope long time readers of my blog notice more fearless writing.  I hope all of you will be more fearless writers.

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24 thoughts on “Fearless Writing

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      1. They can sometimes, and I have been doing the daily prompt, but even there, the last few responses from me have been sub standard really I think. I just cannot get into the frame of mind that I need.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Moi, you are judging yourself. You may be doing better than you think. Always striving is one of the hallmarks of a writer. Plus, even if it really isn’t your best, you get another chance tomorrow.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. First of all, April, you have been blogging for a long while (we may have started around the same time). and it is not easy to find things to write about. Secondly, I see you have been blogging more recently and you seem happy and have a lot to share! Being fearless in our writing is why many of us starting writing and blogging in the first place. This is an excellent post, one that many would have written themselves! Kudos to you and to your viewpoints 🙂

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  2. I think we did start near the same time. The prompt have helped a lot. I still don’t feel like I know who I’m doing with WP, but at least I have started using my own pics, editing them is another issue. And I am studying poetry. What if I was really a poet all along! I have been reading many with doubts, so I dove in.

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  3. Your post hit the right notes on so many levels that it literally had me nodding my head and exclaiming “exactly “. Your line “personal concerns and worldly concerns”,exerting their pressure making self sensor ship even more extreme is something which is all too real . Great post April!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Censorship is a multi-way street. Self-censorship can be not more than honing one’s skills into their finest tunes. But coming from outside of us it gets more controversial. An editor’s job is to censor, at some basic level. To write for others is to sacrifice rawness for sense, a balance that can be difficult to maintain.

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