I have an issue to talk about today: Censorship. Not like the North Korea kind. My kind. How much should I censor myself?
Occasionally, there is swearing on this blog. Nothing crazy, but it happens. I don’t add stars to it either. There’s no such thing as f*ck. Vowels are important and shouldn’t be left out. If anyone has a problem with my swearing on this blog, I don’t care. It’s my blog. That’s the beauty of having my own blog; I can say whatever I want on here.
This blog is practically a public diary. I write about my good days and I write about my bad days. Nothing is off the table, except for one post which I keep privatized because it was personal to someone else. But I try to be an open book.
Anne Lamott said,”You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.”
I try to let that quote influence my writing here. Not that I’ll defame someone (because that’s mean) but I’ll write about what happens to me. I’m allowed to.
Now, for the most part my audience are strangers. *waves* Hi people I’ve never met in person! There’s a certain freedom in the knowledge that you’ll probably never have person-on-person conversation with your readers. You can say anything in the world and it will never return to you. It’s like a message in a bottle, or a time capsule that won’t be opened for one hundred years. I might get comments every once in a while (which is awesome! Keep ’em coming!) and I’m very aware that I have an audience, even though I don’t really see you guys all the time. I can tell you guys about how my dog peed on my pillow the night before I left for England again, and you’ll never have to shuffle away from her nervously.
I don’t really share this blog with friends and family. I maybe showed it to a few of them proudly in the early days when I expected myself to quit within the first month. I accidentally posted it to my personal Facebook page one time instead of the Precarious Writer page, but I took it down right away. The friends who I took pictures of for an article got a link to the article itself. A different friend took the link. I showed it to him one time; I didn’t think he’d actually want to see it ever again. I guess that was my miscalculation. I have one friend who I don’t think reads this blog, but I wouldn’t mind if she did. Just one.
Once people I know are involved, things get a little complicated. No one cares who reads their diary after they die, because they don’t have to deal with it. Having people you know read your innermost thoughts feels incredibly invasive.
If I have a friend who I know reads my blog, naturally I’m going to start censoring myself. I might not be aware of it at first, but eventually I’ll stop myself in the middle of an opinion and think, I can’t write that. That’s going to cause problems for me. My fashion posts won’t have pictures of me dancing around in my dorm room alone, I’ll just be standing there. I might even cut off my own head like I did in my first fashion post ever.
There’s a certain freedom that comes with not being around anyone who has a pre-formed opinion of you. I experienced it when I came to England. I completely re-invented myself here. I could stop being who people expected me to be and started being who I wanted to be. You don’t need to be rid of everyone you know in order to make this change, but it’s a lot easier. No one questions why you are the way you are. No one brings up what you were like in the past. I had that freedom on this blog.
Now I don’t. You know who you are. Don’t beat yourself up about it like I know you will. Don’t apologize, you did nothing wrong. This is just me wanting a space for myself…and nearly seventy perfect strangers who follow me. Don’t take it personally.
Thanks for understanding.