I was planning to delete my short story, Just Chivas and Me. It’s had one lovely like and two views since I’ve published it. I’m concluding that people are either offended or uninterested. It’s not my usual style and I’m a timid type so it’s taken me some time to decide whether or not to air it. For me this story was more about putting the words together than about the actual story. Sounds dumb saying that as a writer it’s all about the worlds and how they mesh. After all, every other writer since the dawn of time has said it. But it’s as true for me as anyone else, so when the story arrived (maybe the stork dropped it at the wrong house), I was knocked for a loop. It’s turned out to be a story about revenge and betrayal, but big deal I hear you saying, Shakespeare and Dumas could knock off something better one hand tied behind their back on one of their least inspired days. Of course there’s nothing new under the sun (Shakespeare and Dumas got there before I did, didn’t they?), so maybe after all, all I’ve got is a bunch of well put together words.
As I said, I was planning to delete it, but I’ve decided against doing so. That’s called self-censoring and I haven’t got a taste for that unless it’s in situations where it means that somebody will be hurt by my words. Of course I’m a writer and not a journalist so I feel differently about how things will affect others. I’m not being critical of journalists. I think the important thing a journalist can do is offer up opinion based on facts. The trouble is that not everyone likes to see facts exposed.
There’s an awful lot of self-censoring going on already, including in our country right now. In fact the Australian government calls it ‘self regulation’ and doesn’t think there’s enough of it going on. It and the so called Independents and Greens want to be in the forefront of all other democratic countries. They haven’t liked what the media has had to say about the way they conduct the business of running our country. There are plans afoot to muzzle free speech through a new media regulation package. As far as I understand it, if the Bill goes through the government will appoint and pay a Public Interest Media Advocate to regulate the current regulatorss all for the public good. But who will regulate him/her is the question begging to be answered. And what other changes can we all expect once government changes? Someone who explains it a fair bit better than I can is Chris Kerby so here is a link to his article which he calls: ‘Your rights at Stake.’ http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/chriskenny/
I don’t get it, there does not seem to be much of an outcry here about this proposed Bill. People don’t realise to them down the track, especially as different govenments with different philosophies and different political leanings will want to tinker round the edges of that Bill.
Mine might not be much of a story (if you ever read it you will note that this ‘newbie’ to fiction is terrified of dialogue) but it’s my creation. Last year I deleted a piece I felt would offend some people and I have been sorry ever since that I did it. I absolutely live for the comments and likes and feel like a fake until the next time somebody says they like something that I have written or I see a star in my notifications section. Having said that, I intend to keep on keeping on no matter what, and writing what matters (to me).