Do You Judge Writers?

I self censor all the time with the stuff I post. I do wonder about others and what creates a censor moment. Also, to what extent do we choose words and phrases that aren’t completely off-putting? I don’t say “offensive” because it’s basically impossible not to offend some of the time. Readers might be offended by the color of your website gradient as much as by the content.

Blogging is different than fiction where characters can be deplorable. When you write a blog the ‘voice’ in the content (mostly) should reflect the writer’s opinion if not be exactly what he/she thinks. Here is where I censor or ‘clean up’ the language and ideas expressed. We want our most sophisticated thoughts to reflect our sharpest critiques of people and events. This is key to being an effective communicator. No one wins an argument saying “F… that guy!” or “You go to Hell”. It feels good to blast someone with whatever epithet rises to the surface, but like pounding that extra slice of pie it eventually makes us sick.

I think the word “censor” turns people off. The thinking goes that if you practice censorship in writing you must be hiding something or afraid of speaking truth. Many of get a mental image of persecuted journalists is China or Russia carefully removing critical material of the government from their websites. This is certainly one form of censorship but on a personal level we rarely think what we are doing is considered censoring. Anytime you filter a raw idea through normal civil discourse you engage in censorship. It might be as simple as choosing appropriate words to explain a position.

Censorship is the difference between a thought and the final product. This process can be rigid or soft but any polishing counts as a constraint.  That is how we need to think of it.



Source: Do You Judge Writers?


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