When to Self-Censor

I had a post written out that I stood 100% by. I believe every word I write here, there’s nothing I say that I don’t mean with every fiber of my being. Maybe I’ll post it later. I won’t delete it though, because I don’t believe in deleting a post as much as I don’t believe in erasing a tattoo. It’s a part of me and my thoughts and I refuse to delete it, even if I decide never to post it. I wrote it in anger. Anger isn’t the right word. It was posted out of sincere disgust of people. Writing in anger is an acceptable form of catharsis. Writing in disgust seems much more than that. It seems hateful. There wasn’t hate in my sentiment when I wrote it.

The problem with art is it’s subjective. A completely innocuous post of beliefs can turn into arguments and hurt feelings. With this dilemma, artists need to make a decision whether or not to self-censor. Some don’t, because negative publicity is still publicity. Some don’t, because they feel this ruins the integrity of what they do. I fall into the latter category. I did do it this time, because it felt right to. That’s the final category of writers: the ones with a great conscience to wrestle with. While I think my original post had very valid points, I felt it was too harsh. Or maybe it wasn’t harsh enough, but enough to cause hurt feelings. Though if someone were offended by the post, I feel it would be as a result of a guilty conscience of theirs rather than a cold gesture of my own.

I have to make a decision what to do with it. I still feel as strongly about it today as I did yesterday when I composed it. I admit I’m struggling with what to do. I can’t fully say that I won’t post it, but I can say if and when I do, I will post it unapologetically because I don’t feel like I should apologize for my well-intentioned beliefs. People shouldn’t apologize for their well-intentioned beliefs, only ones based in hate. And art should remain full of its artist’s integrity. It’s an age-old dilemma of whether or not to self-censor yourself as a person or as a person in the arts. We live in a culture today where everything is taken personally without a regard of the person’s right to believe in something.

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