I still have stories to tell. I can’t decide whether I want to tell them. You might not like me anymore.
Perhaps I fail at writing well-rounded complex characters–but I do try. Do you listen to your characters? Can you be sympathetic to fictional characters if you can’t manage it for real people? There seems to be an amazing mount of not listening that goes on in the world after all. And no one ever thinks it is him or her. Always the other person isn’t listening. It reminds me of the statistic that 80% of drivers believe themselves to be above average at driving. Or, you know, all the kids are above average.
I believe I can’t be a truly great writer until I can understand the guy I hate. That’s not the only criteria, of course, but it is on the list.
Writers are often labelled–horror writer, fantasy writer, romance writer, literary writer… You know how you feel when you hear that label. You attribute all sorts of things to this person even if–especially if–you haven’t read anything this person has written. We all do it. This is why I resist taking on a label. I’ll be rejected on that alone. Should that matter? Probably not.
So by telling certain stories, I’ll be put into a category–one of those people. And I’ll be judged accordingly. A brave person wouldn’t care and who can change human nature?
How much do you self-censor? Do you think you’ve ever encouraged (unwittingly or otherwise) self-censorship in others? Would you really want to live in a world where the only voices you heard were ones you agreed with? Lots of people I know answer of course not. But they don’t go out and act that way. When was the last time you read something by a writer you disliked/disagreed with–for whatever reason–and found you agreed with something that person said?
(I’m not going to say where the picture posted here was taken so you can’t jump to conclusions about me. As a very wise writer once said, “Don’t jump to conclusions. You’ll get wet swimming back.”)