I find blogging hard. Not finding ideas, or the writing, usually. It’s putting those ideas out there. For everyone to see. Opening the Kimono, as my husband would say. (I laughed for a solid minute the first time he used this phrase, the visual was priceless, especially since he used it in a business context. But I digress.) I find it hard because I’m opinionated — in a good way, in a bad way, in an indecisive way. And like nearly everyone else on the planet, I worry that my opinions will be twisted, warped, demonised.
I recently saw a post on twitter to Diana Gabaldon, writer of the hugely popular Outlander books and TV series. A person tweeted, asking why she didn’t have a non-binary character in her books. She responded that the characters sex lives were up to them and weren’t revealed unless they played a part in the story. Well, the outcry. The vitriol. Didn’t Diana know the difference between gender and sexuality? Didn’t the person know the books were set in the 1800s where ‘that sort of thing’ wasn’t out in the open. If this person wanted to see a non-binary character, why didn’t they go and write a massively successful series… and on and on it went. It’s enough to send anyone crouching to a corner to rock.
I don’t want that to happen to me. I don’t want that to happen to anyone. But I do want to feel that I can express my thoughts. I do want to feel uncomfortable when someone with a valid, well thought out point disagrees with me, because that means I’m building empathy and knowledge. I want a debate, a conversation, to hear a different point of view. I also want to take more risks in my work as a writer. To be brave and to pour out All The Feelings on the page. To go deep. And that takes practice.
So, I’m just going to do it. I’m sure I’ll get it wrong and offend someone, I’m sure it won’t all go smoothly and I’m very sure most people won’t even notice or care. But I want to take that risk of speaking up. And I want you all to know, that my intention is not to divide, or judge or isolate, it’s just to… wonder.