Sunday, 26 June 2016

Do We Hide Behind Our Fiction?

You may or may not have noticed but I haven’t posted on this blog in a while. I have a confession to make. I’ve been writing blog posts in secret. Not necessarily beginning that way. I always thought while I was writing them that I should post them to my blog. But then I don’t. Partly because I’m working more hours now. Mostly because I’m scared of how they’ll be received. They’re a bit inflammatory. Controversial. There’s cursing in them. There’s too much of my feelings in them. They’re not safe. But then I thought: if only I could put these posts into fiction somehow, then I could just say it was the characters thinking these things, and not me. Which in turn made me think: are we hiding behind our fiction?

 
I don’t think expressing secret opinions is the main reason people write fiction. It’s not the main reason I write. But it does make me wonder if it’s a part of it. Even if the story you’re writing is completely fabricated, some of you is going to go into it. Some of your opinions will be present. Not all, of course. And there can certainly, and probably will be characters whose opinions differ quite drastically from your own. But, what if you have something you want to say that you’re afraid to say in real life? Or some kind of tragedy has happened to you that you can’t talk about, but you’re able to write a story about it? Is this hiding? Is this bad? Or is it just another way to express ourselves without feeling judgement? Or, at least, pretending there is no judgement. Because people will read into stories what they want to read.

I don’t think this is a bad thing. Take someone who was abused as a child, for example, and are too afraid to come right out and talk about it. Writing a story about it can be safe way for them to express their feelings. But I’m wondering more about after. What happens after the story is written? Do they just tell other people it’s just a story? If so, then does it really help them? Does it do any good if they just write it but can’t come to terms with it? Or do they need to tell someone in order for the writing to help them?

All I’m trying to say is that fiction can be a wonderful way to express how we feel without feeling like people will judge us personally. That a person can write and sort through what they need to. But if they sort through it and they still want to hide their opinions from others, I wonder how good that is for them. I’m not saying they have to tell everyone, but if the reason they’re not telling people is because they’re afraid what others will think, I’m not sure that’s a very good reason.

Going back to not posting on my blog, what made me think about all this was this post and this post. Both those posts are about Christian blogging, but I think the overall message can apply to any type of personal blog. They made me think about whether I wanted to be a safe blogger. And I don’t think I do. I don’t think I can. I think if I try to post safe pieces all the time it will just end up being fluff no one really cares about. That doesn’t mean every post has to be inflammatory or provoking. It just means not censoring my posts until there’s nothing left of me in them.

What do you think? Are your blog posts safe? Do you hide behind your fiction?

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