Why censor yourself?

By Kyle Perkins.

I understand the reason some authors feel that they need to censor their thoughts or words, but it just isn’t the case. I sort of understand famous celebrities and authors censoring themselves(just because they are examples to millions of people), and publicly apologizing for any slight or offense that they’ve caused to someone, but none of us are truly famous. Furthermore, I don’t understand why people look to celebrities for moral guidance(which is pretty stupid in the first place). Usually, they live very privileged lifestyles and do not understand the plights of the common man. Take Gwyneth Paltrow for instance. lol.

Anyway, I’m getting off track. My point is, you don’t need to apologize for exercising your right to free speech, and truthfully, it will never hurt your book sales. When people buy books in the indie community, it mostly comes from personal recommendations, or the reader personally digging the author’s personality already. Sometimes it comes from pimping and promoting, but for the most part, book sales lie in the hands of the author. So, the way I see it is, you probably should just be yourself and make zero apologies. The people that follow you already like you, and you want those kind of people around you. Sure, you want people to challenge you, and you can have friends that disagree with you, but if someone won’t buy your book over some opinion you have? Well, fuck ’em.

If you’re being some fake version of yourself in order to sell books, it’s the same as faking your entire personality in order to score big at the end of a date. Sure, the person you’re on a date with loves that character you’re playing, but they don’t actually like you. Is it even worth being with someone if you have to be someone you’re not in order to do so? Of course not. So, why should this be any different? Most of my fans are my friends. I consider them actual friends, like a friend you just never grew up with. So, not being myself would betray that friendship because it would be built on a lie, and I would feel like I am cheating them.

When I type or write something out, I don’t sit and wonder what the politically correct climate is, I just post. You know why? I’m posting to my fans/friends. I treat my business as a friendship, instead of a seller/buyer relationship. There is no need for fakeness or masking who I am with censorship. Why would I among friends?

If you’re selling yourself as something you’re not, and only giving the best possible version of yourself, you’re selling a lie. Fans and people see through it, and it looks cowardly. We’re authors, not Gods. We make mistakes, and we say stupid shit. It’s okay. We’re human, and we’re supposed to. Showing that human side of yourself and letting your fans in shows that you actually respect them enough to not fake who you are. With my fans, there is a mutual respect and understanding that I might say just about anything that crosses my mind, and it seems to work for me. If you offend someone in the process, who cares? They won’t die. No one has ever died from being offended. They move on, grow up, or they don’t and refuse to buy your books. Cool. Chances are that if one thing you actually said triggered them enough to not buy your books, they were never a fan to begin with. Especially not a fan of the real you. You don’t write for those people. You write for your fans.

No matter what you do, even if you manufacture this picture perfect persona, some people are flat out not going to like you, and that’s okay. However, I’d rather people not like the real me, than to have to put work into a fake me that people didn’t like. 😉

6 thoughts on “Why censor yourself?

  1. In my case, if I had sales like Stephen King or James Patterson, I wouldn’t care about airing my uncensored views on social media. Since i don’t, I try not to alienate potential groups of readers no matter how much i disagree with the ideologies they cling to. This might be cynical or a tainted view, but I just want more readers and my political or moral views shouldn’t eliminate them from the equation.

    1. Exactly, I agree. Your political or moral views shouldn’t, and people that allow things like that to affect their support of you, I don’t want their money. The cool thing is, no matter what your opinions or views are, there are other people that will be your fan based on them, even if you lose a few from not censoring yourself. Your true fans won’t leave regardless.

  2. I think personalities shine through the cracks unless the blogger/author never comments on anything important or insightful at all. Some wish everyone a nice day and that’s all but I feel that I want to add my ‘penny’s worth’ to some debates and that it would be pretty pointless if no one ever spoke their mind. I do, however, avoid strong political or religious opinions because I don’t feel them relevant to my writing.

    1. I agree. Only thing I do differently is that I do comment on political and religious topics because like you, I don’t feel it is relevant to my writing, and a reader shouldn’t make it so.

  3. Great article. Too many people (especially authors) are so caught up in the PC game. Maybe it’s because of worrying about their families and friends reading about it and getting offended. Sure, some don’t speak like that in front of their (grand)parents, but the rest, they expect it from you because they know and accept the real you.

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