Lose the Writing Filter

(c) JD Hancock (CC BY 2.0)

(c) JD Hancock (CC BY 2.0)

Humans worry too much about how they are viewed by others. This leads many writers to censor the genuine thoughts that run through their minds. The world is so wrapped up in political correctness (a.k.a. “PC”) that it is strangling the realm of creatives. Far too many of creative types hold back from exposing their true selves because they worry about how their ideas will be taken, who they are offending, or who will actually like them. Our “writer’s mind” is sometimes so focused on how our work will be received that we allow this detraction to take away from the actual art of writing, leading us to produce a lower quality product than what we would have liked. In the end, we publish a product that we think the world wants see instead of what we think the world should see.

And so we censor ourselves and hold back. Burying our inner spark in the sand because we do not believe that the world will accept our real and honest ‘self’. In our minds, our truest thoughts and ideas are not perfectly aligned with the world.

Hate to break it to you, Cupcake, but perfection does not exist. And there is no true alignment in the world. The haphazardness that makes up our existence is what makes it all so beautiful and unique. It is what makes you so beautiful and unique.

Turn off your filter. Stop censoring yourself.

Free your mind — free your stories — free your words

Face it, you are not going to make every single reader and critic on this planet happy. And not everyone is going to like you and your writing. That is just the hard fact of the writing life. We are not all the same nor do we all like the same things.

Stop thinking about how to phrase a sentence because you don’t want to offend someone. That is one person. While behind that single person, there are 100 others who are in line for your autograph and can’t wait to tell you how your book is just so incredibly awesome.

If that has not convinced you to stop self-sabotaging censoring your work because you are afraid that someone won’t read your stories, I’ll let you in on the big secret about readers… people are adult enough to choose what they want and don’t want to read. They are free to pick and choose. Write what you want to write about and let the reader choose if they want to read your work or not. Stop sweating bullets over making sure everything “PC” so that everyone is going to like it and no one will be offended. You are wasting precious writing time on needless worry.

Still not convinced to turn off your filter? Take author Tucker Max as an example. He has become a best selling author just from being an asshole (his words, not mine). His stories are as dirty as a frat house floor and will leave you blushing for months, if not years. He is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea (or whisky). The guy has absolutely no filter and just lets his chaotic, thrilling, and sometimes “WTF” life fall out onto the pages of his books, leading him to be an incredibly successful author with a large readership. Question: Do you know how he got his dedicated audience? Answer: The guy is genuine. He pours his real-life stories across the pages and people are reading despite the content being excessively risqué and him coming off sometimes as a jerk.

Being genuine will always win readers over being servant to the masses.

Stop worrying about how you will be viewed. Anyways, You are supposed to be writing for yourself. You come first. Write from the heart and don’t spend another second thinking about what everyone out there is thinking about you or your writing. Critics are always going to be around to tear you and your work apart. Unless their complaints deal with syntax, grammar, or any other parts of story structure, take their words with a grain of salt. Don’t shape your story for the ones who don’t see your work as being standard and aligned with society, culture, or religion.

Turn off your filter and write what you want the world to see.