Insecure Writers Support Group: On Feeling Muzzled #IWSG

For this month's meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group, I have more of a frustration than an insecurity.

We writers have lots to say, right? Thus all the writing. And yet, it seems  that outside of our works, we're expected to zip it when it comes to opinions that might not be socially popular. And heaven forbid we ever have the audacity to publicly call out a jerk for being a jerk. Everyone says to be ourselves on the social networks, but really, all an author is allowed to share publicly without backlash is rainbows and marshmallows. 

I'm all for staying positive, but I'm not exactly a rainbowy & marshmallowy type of person. I'm sarcastic and irreverent, and I get mad when people are jerks. I'm extremely lucky to have a small circle of trustworthy writer friends I can vent to privately, and it's not that I even want to vent publicly, but sometimes it might be nice to be able to share my grievances with a wider group. 

You see, the thing I'd really like to discuss this month is something I know I'd get slapped on the wrist for discussing. I'm supposed to pretend I'm cool with the ugly new thing on my sidebar---which I was never given a chance to give input on and which is the polar opposite of the direction discussed. So, I guess I won't say anything about that and will let it roll off my shoulder and move on like a good little author is expected to do...

How about you - does the muzzle ever chafe you? 


This post is part of the monthly blog hop/therapy session known as Insecure Writers Support Group, founded by the one and clonely Alex J. Cavanaugh. Did you hear that IWSG is holding a SHORT STORY CONTEST?? Stop by insecurewriterssupportgroup.com for details. 


Mark Means said...

Personally, I'd prefer to know an author's actual view on things. I think it lends insight into their writing and makes them seem more....real...I guess.

Unsnap that muzzle! :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Is it the new cover for your book?

There are so many things I'd like to say but it would be so un-PC.

Jennifer Lane said...

Ha ha ha about the ugly thing on your sidebar!

Girl, I'm so glad to have you to vent to. I might combust without you. Muzzling is probably bad for psychological health, so I'm glad you're finding a way to vent, even if it has to be private at times.

*throws away ugly, ill-fitting gold pumps*

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I feel muzzled too but after years of being a public school teacher I've grown accustomed to biting my tongue. What is the ugly?

Susan Says

Juneta Key said...

When staying muzzled is in everyone's best interest I think it best sometimes. But, you also have to be yourself and insist that your platform is the right fit for you. It is your platform and reputation, so it matters what you think and what you want.

I guess you have to be careful, so you will not be accused of being the attacker, hard to get a long with or crabby too. However ugly deserves what it gets--I think all depends on what it is and why.

I try to be straight forward, and there is always the delete button if it is your platform or website. I have a friend that is really good at politely putting people in their place and it takes a minute to realize you just got told good too, rofl. Makes me laugh thinking about it. I wish I had the knack for that.

Answer to your question, yes it can chafe, but sure feels good when silence lets them hang themselves.

Juneta Writer's Gambit

Carrie-Anne said...

Sometimes it's best not to publicly speak about something which could ruffle feathers, like naming an agent or editor who was very rude in a contest or rejection letter. Other times, it seems like it'd be better to speak up.

I've kept potentially controversial, polarizing issues off my blog, for fear of offending readers who may hold differently. My old Angelfire site was full of opinionated posts on political, social, religious, cultural, etc., matters, but that earned me some hate mail, and eventually got my site deleted after I offended a mentally unbalanced woman and her sycophantic friends. Once every so often, I may write something hinting at my personal views, but it's not in-your-face anymore.

Arlee Bird said...

Muzzling is against the principles of what the U.S. is supposed to stand for, but unfortunately we now live in a society where it's easier to attack someone for their views than to rationally listen to all sides of an argument.

I avoid a lot of my opinions about life things on my blog to avoid any potential backlash. A few times I have let my opinions fly in blog comment sections and then regretted it because it was something that either became a prominent part of my search engine presence or resulted in some unpleasant interchanges with others.

Occasionally I do tweet something opinionated, but I don't think that many people actually read Twitter--at least not my little tweets.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Tyrean Martinson said...

Sometimes, it does - it depends on the issue and the grievance.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sometimes it's tough not to say something. Better to do it in private.

Aria Glazki said...

I wrote about this exact same issue a while ago! (http://www.ariaglazki.com/2014/07/gag-orders-in-publishing-what-were-not.html) It's so frustrating that we're supposed to be ourselves, and have personality, but also not discuss anything political or potentially controversial—which let's face it, everything is. People out there would be offended by my saying "I support gay marriage" and "I am pro choice" (whoops?), but other people would be offended by my not saying anything, as a Twitter friend of mine is currently experiencing.

I think as long as we're being professional and respectful, and not breaking any contract confidentiality issues, we should stand by our convictions. On the other hand, I kind of wish people would read my work because of the work, not because of my personal beliefs, whether I share those or not. It's a tough balancing act.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

Oh, I know what you mean! I read articles about how people like Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock don't even like to perform at colleges anymore, because they say that students care more about political correctness than anything else. And it's not just students; it's everyone, to the point where it does feel like we're all struggling to communicate through muzzles. It's frustrating, to say the least, especially because it feels like no matter what you say or write, there's always at least one person who will be "offended."

Karen Jones Gowen said...

What ugly thing on your sidebar? Or maybe you "can't say"?

Olga Godim said...

This is an important issue, and not everyone has the courage to raise it. I dislike political correctness too, but more often than not I'm afraid of consequences of opening my mouth, so I don't usually speak up. Maybe I should. Anyway, I do in my fiction, in an oblique, disguised way. It happens without preaching or even my intent. I just can't camouflage my convictions in my stories. They would be false, if I did, but the first time I noticed it myself was a shock.
There is nothing ugly on your sidebar.

M Pax said...

I get what you mean. Yet we are public people and have to keep a public image. I have an inner circle to rant to, too. Husband Unit. He gets tired of hearing it sometimes. lol

What's ugly?

Hopefully, the new Survivor will start soon and we can be cheered up.

Cherie Colyer said...

Is the ugly thing the new cover?

I think we all hold our tongues in public. Thank goodness for inner circles of trusted family and friends.

Janie Junebug said...

I feel stupid. I don't know what the ugly thing on your sidebar is.


Julie Flanders said...

I'm like Janie and am killed looking for what the ugly thing on your sidebar is. But I understand what you mean. There have been a few times I've written something on my blog that I didn't even think was controversial, I was just joking, and ended up regretting it because I was taken to task. I want to keep my blog fun so I stay away from polarizing topics for the most part.

Feather Stone said...

I've learned to keep my opinions mute in public. Usually, the anger and frustrations are not for public consumption, or of any benefit to my writer personae. HOWEVER, my dear husband and close friends get to be my sounding board. I vent my frustrations and pissed-off verbalization to them without restraint. Once in a while the 'f' word gets used but I try to keep that to a minimum. On line, people see only one side of me. I give them what they want. I don't think they are interested in my dirty laundry or the warrior side of me. As far as that 'cute' image on your sidebar goes, let your awesome sense of humor shine through. After all, it's what's beneath the covers that really make my pulse race, especially if there a vibrator included, LOL. You're an incredibly talented author and a beautiful person.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I'm still trying to figure out what ugly thing was added to your side bar. You should be able to go into your settings and at the least shrink it and move it to the very bottom if you can't delete it. I'm sorry you got upset. :(

Tammy Theriault said...

Girl I see nothing ugly!! And I'm just like you on the sarcasm bit. But... I think that's why I adorbs you so much!