My Own Worst Enemy

One of the things I struggle with the most in writing is writing without censoring. I want to be open and discuss my life because I think most of us share common struggles. I find a lot of comfort in knowing that others have faced the same issues, the same concerns. What is better than knowing you are not alone?

But you are not alone. I am not alone. I have a family, friends, work associates who I have no desire to offend. I’ve never shared my blog with my father because he is an extremely private person. I often wonder how he would feel about the way I write about him. And he would want to talk about it. If anyone else is the child of a psychologist you understand what I mean when I say he wants to discuss everything. So obviously I come by it honestly.

This has always been a battle for me- the desire to express myself versus the desire to not offend. In college the desire to express won and I felt very open in my creative writing classes. In recent times, censorship has won. I have only just realized that my need to not offend or embarrass combined with the belief that I am not talented or good enough (more to come on this topic) is the root of why I don’t write. I used to enjoy taking my laptop down to the coffee shop to spend a couple hours people watching and writing what I imagined to be the stories of their lives. It wasn’t anything I shared with anyone but I enjoyed it and I felt connected with myself. And then it just stopped.

So now that I’ve confirmed for the millionth time that I am my own worst enemy (huge surprise) I’m going to have to get over it. Even if it’s a little bit at a time.

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Does anyone struggle with self-censorship? How do you combat it?

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2 thoughts on “My Own Worst Enemy

  1. I definitely relate to this. For a long time I felt disinclined to be honest about my life too, and still fear exposing too much. So I write things and don’t share them, or I write them and do and then feel mad anxious. I’m working on it. There are ways of being genuine and honest without imparting hurt…but I’ve also had to get over the falsehood that everyone must like me, must approve of me. We all hit a point when it becomes unbearable to mask our truth and then we have to ask: What’s the worst that could happen?

    I wondered for years why I never wrote when I actually loved writing, and then I started writing honestly. It CHANGES shit. I also used to think talent was about prose, but it’s about feeling. The most talented writers I know are the ones who made me feel the least alone. Girl, I have boxes full of your letters. You, more than anyone I know, have this power.

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