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You’ll Never Have Freedom in Your Writing

If You’re Afraid of What Family and Friends Think

By Jason ProvencioPublished 3 months ago 4 min read

There has never been a time during my brief writing career when I’ve been afraid to say anything I wanted to say in my writing. But I never take for granted that many other writers don’t have this freedom in their lives. I feel for them.

Starting a writing career at age 47 was never the plan. I’ve often wondered how much further ahead in the game I could have been if I had started 30 years ago. Or even 20. But I quickly put those thoughts out of my mind.

One of the best aspects of starting a career that I’m passionate about during my middle-aged years is that I’m very secure in who I am. I know that I’m a good person and I stand up for equality and justice for all. I try to make the world a more fair, equal place through my writing.

And I don’t give a fuck. I ran out of patience for what ignorant people think of me long ago.

I don’t judge those who are afraid to be their authentic selves in their writing. If I had started writing on a platform such as Medium 30 years ago or less, I might be in their same shoes. I’d likely also worry about what my family or friends would say if they read my thoughts and opinions about the world.

When I write, I can be pretty opinionated. I am passionate about my beliefs as I’m sure you probably are. For me, politics and religion are two topics that can send me into a lengthy diatribe within my writing.

I am not very nice at times in stating my dislike for people who are racist and bigoted due to their religious or political leanings. Sadly, when we write and publish blogs and articles that expand on these types of feelings and beliefs, we are bound to clash with others who have differing thoughts on the matter.

It can get ugly. Especially when dealing with parents.

So many people my age have elderly parents. While not all senior citizens hold racist or bigoted views, I feel it’s safe to assume that more of them do than the young adults that are my children’s age. Just about all of my kids’ young friends are very accepting and kind toward all people.

People my parents’ age tend to be in the pro-Trump crowd. They are the ones watching Fox News 24–7 while they’re nodding, commenting, and even yelling at their television. I’ve seen it in a number of people’s homes over the years.

If you are unafraid and unashamed to share your opinions about racism and bigotry being wrong, you are going to have family members, friends, and even the occasional Medium writer attacking your views. You may lose some of these people that you call family and friends over your writing.

That’s where fear comes into the picture. Some of us aren’t ready to accept family and friends being pissed off at us about our writing enough to be authentic with it. They are afraid of losing someone that perhaps they once thought loved and cared for them.

I don’t sweat it. I have plenty of family and friends who probably disagree with the things I write. But they have enough love and respect for me to keep their opinions about my writing to themselves. That’s wise of them.

I’d prefer to keep my familial relationships and friendships. But I’m not going to censor myself in my writing in order to do that. I am at least two decades past giving a damn about what anyone thinks about me if it’s negative. Their opinions do not matter and will not sway me from being the person I am.

I will never censor myself to comfort someone’s ignorance. I’m not looking for conflict and drama-filled arguments, but if anyone wants to start those things, bring the noise. Let’s do it.

I worry about so many writers here on Medium. Ones who I know personally are debating whether or not to tackle a topic they want to write about, but know that it will cause family drama. They often pass on a great writing idea because they are convinced it will just cause trouble. Things could get uncomfortable.

That’s what being a Renegade Writer is all about. Knowing that what you choose to write about is going to stir up emotions, debate, and possibly anger. For me, that’s an easy choice. If my writing has the power to do all of that, how can I NOT move forward with it?

Being free is a wonderful feeling. When you no longer worry about who you might piss off with your writing, the possibilities are endless. If you hold back and water down your style because friends or family members are going to get offended, you’re doing yourself a disservice as a writer.

The people I’ve discussed this with have talked about blocking certain family members from reading their writing. Some are considering starting a second Medium account under a pen name, so as not to offend the people who might shame them for speaking their truth.

If that’s what it takes for you to be comfortable writing in an authentic way, I’m all for it. You do you. I would never presume to know what’s best for you and your family/friend dynamic. You need to be comfortable in your own environment.

But for me, I’m putting my real name on everything I publish. I am not ashamed of my views, my rough-around-the-edges writing style, and I am damn sure not letting anyone ever silence me. Family, friend, or foe. Just try me.

I wish the same for you. &:^)

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About the Creator

Jason Provencio

71x Top Writer on Medium. I love blogging about family, politics, relationships, humor, and writing. Read my blog here! &:^)

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