Ursula K. Le Guin and Self-Censorship
There will be plenty of people out there who want to silence your voice. Who will have a problem with what you have created no matter what it is. We call these “bad faith readers”. These bad faith readers will always be able to find criticism, always find a reason why your book shouldn’t exist, why you should be ashamed of yourself for creating it, and why it needs to disappear.
Don’t let yourself become one of these bad faith readers. And certainly don’t write for the bad faith readers.
Self-censorship can be hard to spot, but it’s vital for any artist to push back against it whenever it rears its ugly head. True art, good art, can only come from when we explore those things that scare us, that titillate, that provoke and enthrall and yes, sometimes that are censorious. But try to imagine a reader, a good faith reader, that will thank you for your work. That needed a light to be shone in dark places. You and your art will be the better for it.
LESSON LEARNED: WRITE YOUR TRUTH. SHOUT IT OUT LOUD. LET NONE SILENCE YOU – NOT EVEN YOU.