How often have you heard about censorship lately? I know, I know. Everyone believes in their own right of free speech, and some people even believe in free speech for others. Mostly just when their free speaking matches our thoughts. But this isn't about other people, or even the government, censoring anyone. How often do you censor yourself and how much does it affect your writing? How often do you bite your tongue instead of telling someone exactly what you think? How often have you changed a character's traits because you were afraid of what someone important would say?
I often bite my tongue, just so I don't upset people, even if they're upsetting me. So instead of them being aware that they're annoying or frustrating me, I just suck it up instead of them being upset.
I have a hard time writing certain things because I'm always worrying, in the back of my mind, what so-and-so will think if they read it. Will they think I'm talking about them? Will they think I'm insulting them? Or will they be flattered that they mattered enough for me to think of them while I was writing a story?
What's Grandma going to think if she reads something I wrote that has actual sex scenes instead of alluding to them and magically having a scene break right the characters are doing the nasty? Good lord, what if one of my drinking buddies thinks the alcoholic in a novel is based on them? Will they ever believe that I created that character long before I met them?
If I write about a woman who's cheating on her husband, is my husband going to think I'm cheating on him? Or that I want to cheat on him?
All of these questions go through my mind when I'm writing. It's ridiculous; isn't it? At some point, if I want to be productive, I have to get back to where I was writing for myself. The story is what matters and if someone doesn't understand that my experiences all play into my writing, i guess I'll never be able to explain it to them. Right? As for Grandma, I suspect she knows what sex is. She did have kids of her own.
My current work-in-progress has some scenes that I'm uncomfortable writing because I'm worried what people will think when they read it. However, the scenes are demanded by the story and the characters. I don't write sex scenes just to make sure there are sex scenes.
How does self-censorship affect you and your writing? Or even your daily life?