For my writing class this week I wrote a short story that I felt was creepy. The themes involved drugs, sex, and I used plenty of profanity. When I write my blog entries I am squeaky clean, and really do not test the boundaries. If someone were to read all 120 entries on my blog, they would not find one curse word. Yet for my creative fiction work, I’m willing to go grimy. I think my reasons for a clean blog are legitimate. I’ll take this entry to explain the difference of writing blog entries and writing fiction in hopes to submit somewhere. Hopefully this will be helpful to other aspiring writers.
First of all, a blog entry posted is immediate, and most of the time there is no outside judgment before you post. A few of my entries my family asked me to take down, and I did. But potentially people could have seen my facebook link to my blog and saw those entries before I deleted them. I learned that if you question anything about your topic of choice it might be better to rethink the idea or not write it. Like facebook, twitter, or any other online presence your blog represents yourself. You are in complete control of it, but also judged by it.
On the other hand if you write fiction with the intent of publishing, that is a whole other process. Let’s say you write a story, and revise it the best you can and send it out. A lot of literary journals have one percent acceptance rates or lower. To get published in print is a big deal. Stories that are accepted passed a test, and were evaluated heavily by the staff of a journal. To get published in a literary magazine or to publish a novel puts an artistic stamp to it, and gives a lot more leeway to the content. It’s not just a coworker or fellow student that wrote a crude blog, it’s turns into someone you know being a published writer or author. In literature I’m drawn to the Henry Miller’s, and for television show I like ‘The Sopranos.’ To me as a librarian I don’t think fiction, literature, and art should be censured. In my own literary pursuits I should figure out my own voice, themes, and topics. Publishing fiction of any kind would be okay. But the standard is that some entity being a journal or publisher deems it publishable.
In addition to being squeaky clean, for my blog I do not put my fiction on there. I have a few fiction pieces elsewhere online, but what I’m writing now fiction wise is better. I owe it to myself to revise these five short stories I recently wrote and submit them to journals. I think once one story is published it’ll be easily to get more published. So I need to keep writing fiction, and I need to keep that writing somewhat more private so it can have a chance to be published.
Lastly since my blog is non-fiction, anything that could be construed as offensive could be interpreted as my opinion. Basically for my blog I write about things that I went to in a memoir way, reviews of my various interests, or opinion pieces. If my blog were laced with profanity or obscenity it would come off as part of my personality.
2 thoughts on “Self censoring my blog: blogging versus fiction writing”
I wholeheartedly agree with you on this. It took some time for me to even begin this blogging process and I think presenting oneself in a way that is professional, informative and interesting is best while at the same time bringing in some of one’s personality. As you know, my fiction writing has “mature” themes, but as you said — it’s fiction. Blogging is kind of an extension of who you are and it’s best to keep it, as you said “squeaky clean.” Great advice and food for thought here — thanks!
Thanks Brigitte. Looking forward to our writing group later this month!