Speak Truth

I wanted to do a brief follow up post to yesterday's post about censoring your online existence. After a long debate with my wife about where we would be if folks like Emerson and Thoreau had heeded my advice and kept their yaps shut, I decided that I need to make a point clear: Understand what you want to get out of this.

If your driving passion in life is to speak truth to a cause, then by all means, do so. Just understand that you will have to navigate your ship accordingly. If you are extremely conservative, believe that homosexuals should not have the right to be married, and so on, and not only convey that in your writing but also in your public persona, fine. Understand that you won't get your foot in the door with a very liberal agent from San Francisco whose best friend is a lesbian whose marriage was just disallowed by a state law that you backed (hypothetical, I have no idea if this person exists).

You'll also have a hard time reaching those in the middle of the road because they're not going to want to rock the boat. And depending on how you've portrayed yourself, you may have made it easier or more difficult to sell your work. They might perceive you as being difficult to work with because you come across as being so headstrong.

I guess I just look at it differently than most. I'll admit, I was getting very riled up and outspoken with the last election cycle. I spent hours researching my points, seeking the truth. Trouble was, no one else paid any attention to that truth. In the end I was left with a lot of anger and resentment.

That's when I turned back to fiction. I realized that I was so much happier dumping myself into the cause of good writing. I could tell my stories, show people the possibility of a better world through my words without trying to hammer it into their heads. At the end of the day I came away from it satisfied. I wasn't angry or fed up or left feeling helpless. I felt content.

For me, my biggest drive is to have my words read. I'm not going to change my message or beliefs in order to make that happen, but I will accept that I am trying to take on the role of an entertainer, not a politician or activist. Until I can make my own rules like Card and others, I'll keep quiet and let my stories do the talking.

So please, speak truth in your words. Just be sure that your words get heard. Otherwise, you end up speaking the truth of silence and those who knew how to play the game get to inundate the rest of us with their views.


golddust3681 said...

I completely get that. During this last election (and up until "The Great Budget Cut of June 2009"), I worked for a newspaper as the site manager for their mom's website. It was EXHAUSTING dealing with some of those women. I could not voice my own opinion and still keep my job, but I didn't lick anyone's behind either. It was a giant struggle to remain completely neutral, but fortunately that is something that I'm good at; being the veritable fence-rider and all. But I had a choice. And it wasn't as if I was silenced really, I just chose a different platform to express my opinions that at my work place, in spite of it being a "discussion board." Which it's just common sense to keep that stuff out of work regardless.

BTW: Thanks for being my "cyber-knight" on mooooog's picture issue. That was sweet.

David Noceti said...

Yeah, I think it's so hard to ride the fence these days, especially with so many media outlets being so obvious with which way they lean. The funny thing about it is that people on both sides think that the media leans the opposite direction. When I hear the term "liberal media" I want to scream. "Oh, you mean the 'corporate' liberal media? All those rich multinationals that are really looking out for the hippie in us all? Riiiiiight." Add into the equation things like these "townhall meetings" where some folks won't even allow a debate to occur, and it really makes you want to scream at the top of your lungs.

And I was going to mention to moog that you're wearing a dress in your picture so that technically counts as going pantless. :)

Mellow Dee said...

By the way, I do understand the issues in presenting a certain image regarding one's profession; as a teacher, I have had to represent myself as being neutral in regard to various political and social issues; I have had to alter how I dress for the most part; and goodness knows my potty mouth, naughty ways, and raunchy sense of humor (thanks, golddust for the great laugh last night!)! In establishing professional credibility, one must portray oneself in a marketable or employable way. That said, I still feel that one can do that and be true to the things that are of value to him or her.
And I still say it was a discussion, not a debate and certainly not an argument :o)

Amber J. Gardner said...

I totally agree with the desire to be heard. I want my opinions to shine through my stories too.

But heck, I'm going to face a lot of fire too when I decide to tackle controversial themes (I want to make several fantasy movies with gay main chars, including one that's biblical), and I'm okay with that...just when I can get to the Card and Mel Gibson status and can get away with it XD.

I'm totally fine with being silent for the time being.

damihjva said...

I'm a sekrit ninja. My words will SPARKLE and the wurld will change!

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