To keep blogging (and writing) means I have to force myself through the wall of self-imposed silence due to self-censorship. I apparently do a lot of damage to myself by constantly second-guessing and doubting myself. You know, the more that I think about it, the more I realize this writing gig isn't for the faint of heart.
Self-censorship...thanks to the utter implosion of the RWA and a group on Twitter that I refer to as the "torches and pitchforks crowd" I've found I've been self-censoring more and more and second-guessing every single word I write. The latest target of the woke, virtue-signaling T & P crowd is Georgette Heyer (the woman has been dead since 1974) because she was allegedly anti-Semitic. Honey, by just about any definition, I'm Jewish. My grandfather took me to synagogue every Saturday morning and I'm not offended by a single word Heyer wrote. I'd deeply appreciate it if y'all would stop being offended for me. In the meantime, my own second-guessing and self-censorship has become a full-on, impenetrable force-field. Right now, I haven't found a scruffy-looking Nerf herder to help me destroy that force-field.
Instead, I'm trying to blog about the massive destruction the "scorched earth" policy of the T & P crowd seems to create. It is truly, from my view point, a take no prisoners, silence the voices of those authors who the T & P crowd believe to be racist, homophobic, xenophobic (pick a phobic), and destroy the voices of those who don't agree with them. Even as I write those words, I realize I may be making myself a target for them because I don't agree with the mob--on just about everything.
Early on in this debacle with the RWA I realized this was political. This wasn't about creating a more inclusive place for ALL authors at RWA, which--for the record--still needs to happen. This was about destroying and silencing the voices of all those who don't think like the TP crowd, will not virtue signal like the TP crowd. The greatest sin of one of those the TP crowd seeks to destroy and silence--she's alleged to be conservative. And, in the worldview of the TP crowd, that automatically makes her racist, homophobic, xenophobic (again, pick your phobic). In the worldview of the TP crowd, any woman who writes romance for a culture of which she isn't a member and isn't an author of color must be racist. Isn't that assumption racist in itself?
A writer friend of mine who is also a person of color had this to say about the latest tempest over a new book and it is so fitting for this whole debacle: When someone tears another down, it’s speaks volumes about that person’s character, but it also usually shows their woundedness. My friend says the book world has become ugly and she is struggling with the decision to continue writing--and we write in the same genre: romance. We write romance--a genre that is about inclusion, acceptance, happily ever after, finding that one person who makes life complete.
My son has a meme posted as his profile picture that says "Until you heal what's wounded you, you'll continue to bleed onto those around you." I have a suggestion to the members of the TP crowd. Figure out what has wounded you and heal that. In the meantime, tell the rest of us--calmly and rationally and logically--what we can do to help you heal. Because your scorched earth policy really doesn't do much of anything other than starve us all.