Daily Update: Censorship
There comes a time when people need to learn about censorship. I’m not talking about networks bleeping out the naughty words on The Soup. I’m talking about people who “put it all out there” and will rant and rave ad nauseum. I know I have a tendency to ramble from time to time, but I’m not going into TMI mode and telling you about my bodily functions, the weird lump I found on my leg, or any number of ailments I might be suffering from. Sure I’ll tell you when I’ve a headache from my sinuses filling due to foul weather, but I’m not going to go on and on about what’s happening to me physically. That’s not where you’re here for.
You’re here for the ducks and I know it. (soon enough)
When I write, there are certain topics I won’t touch just because I’m not comfortable writing about those topics. That’s just how I’m wired. I might talk about these things with my friends, I might read about them, I might watch youtube videos about comedians talking about those topics, but it’s like roller coasters. Just because I enjoy them doesn’t mean I’m going to go and build one. I enjoy a lot of the media I take in, but when it comes to the work I produce I have an internal censor that won’t let me write certain things.
Am I afraid my mom would be embarrassed if her son wrote erotica? If you read my mother’s day post you know my mom can make sailors blush so no, that’s not a reason.
Am I shy? No, not really. If you’ve ever met me you know I’m not shy about going up and talking to almost anyone. That certainly isn’t my problem.
Am I a prude? Oh, if you saw my reading shelf you’d find Rigor Amortis on there. No, I’m not a prude. (I will review this book one day soon)
Am I just too weak to write about those topics? Heavens no. I don’t look at avoidance of a topic as being weak.
I think it boils down to having a different vision for my work as a whole and though some topics might entertain some people, I just have no desire to write them. When I’m done with a story I look at where it went and it tells the story I want to tell. It doesn’t plumb the depths of what I choose to avoid. My mind censors itself and only the story comes out. It’s nothing that I consciously avoid, it just doesn’t happen in my stories. I don’t have sex, I don’t have swearing. Those things, for me, just have no place in the stories I’m telling. If ever I felt a story I was working on needed something like that, I don’t know if I’d tell that story at all. Like I said, I do see a place for that, but not in my work.
When I write a story I like to think that anyone could read it and get something different from it. I try to add layers in there and when you read there’s more than just what you’re looking at on the top of it all. So if you’re a younger reader, you can enjoy the tale as told. If you’re an older reader and follow along with the many plot lines you’ll see certain threads that will lead you down a path and make you wonder where I’m going with all of this.
When it comes to what you read on these pages or in one of my short stories or even in my novels, my internal censor is busy at work making sure that I don’t produce something that can’t be consumed by anyone. V&A Shipping is about an inter-galactic beer run, yet has been calling “mini-van safe”. That’s just how I roll. I want you to be able to come here and be confident that I’m not going to suddenly have this rant that will make you wonder why you came here in the first place.
I had a point to all of this (and not just the on the top of my head). I guess I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts lately and some of them delve into topics I just wouldn’t delve into and others take on topics of controversy that I don’t feel I need on this site. John Skalzi did this with a post and eventually had to turn off the comments to his blog post because of all the internet trolls posting comments that he got tired of removing. Sure this brought in a lot of traffic to his site, but at what cost? Did he gain a new reader from all of that? To that end, had Jay Lake gained new readers with his in depth chronicling of his cancer?
I don’t know.
Will I gain new readers and followers when I don’t post topics that are overly personal or extreme in the controversy they could cause?
I don’t know.
Time will tell.
That is not to say that I won’t have a thought provoking post from time to time. I mean, ducks can really get the wheels turning.