Self-Censorship . . . Maybe You Should

Yesterday I wrote about when it might be wrong to self-censor your writing — to avoid writing something that might offend someone.  This is a huge obstacle for children’s writers especially when we are parents.  Sometimes we slip into parenting our characters.

But there are times when self-censorship is an excellent idea.

I write a great deal of nonfiction including essays and also posts for a prayer blog, PrayPower4Today.  Needless to say, many of my prayer posts and my essays are based on personal experience and that can be a great thing.  When we write based on our own lives, we bring passion to our writing.

Of course, we can also bring in a lot more than passion if an event is too fresh.  Sometimes I’ll try writing about something before I’ve had time to fully process it emotionally.  When this happens, I have to fight to get things down on paper.  The pieces are often long and rambling and more than a little ranty.  I sound like I’m preaching a street corner sermon.

Why?  Because I generally am.

That’s when I know that I need to put this piece away until I chill out.  How long?  It depends.  There is no magical amount of time. Sometimes it only take a few days.  Sometimes it takes a few months.  There are some things that I’ve tried to write about 5 or 6 times before I’ve been successful.

Don’t avoid tough topics.  Do give yourself the time and space that you need to write about them with the clarity time brings to many things.