Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Self Editing

I've been thinking lately about how often we edit ourselves. I don't mean stopping before we blurt out some potentially hurtful comment, or even the process of consciously phrasing or presenting things in ways that won't hurt the feelings of those we care about. What I'm talking about is how often we feel compelled to hide our thoughts, our questions, our doubts, or our musings because we are afraid of what people will think of us, how often we can't simply be real.

It makes me sad. And frustrated.


Alex said...

I have often tried to imagine what a day would be like if I did no editing. I think that day would be pretty tough on everyone around me, but eventually it would probably be very helpful.

I think we could all turn up the honesty just a little more.

lisa b said...

People think that I don't do much screening between my brain and my mouth, but believe me -- there's a lot of filtering that goes on between point A and point B. I've had too many instances of speaking my heart and having it backfire.

Stephanie said...

I'd been thinking of how much more I'd have to write about on here--to explore--if I didn't have to self-edit.

David Manes said...

I hear your reasons for self editing - feelings of others and judgment from others - but I don't think either is enough to justify self-censorship. Every time I read your blog, I wish I could read more of what you really think.

If who you are is a person with certain questions and thoughts, and you are talking about people who love you for who you are, then that shouldn't be a problem. If there are people who only care about you because you say what they want to hear and never say what they don't want to hear, then who cares about them? That's been my approach, anyway.

I used to self-edit my online writings a lot, especially when I was at HU. Then I came to recognize that on the other side of the balance that holds other people's feelings and potential judgments is my own sanity and intellectual honesty.

Stephanie said...

Ahhh . . . intellectual honesty. There's the rub, isn't it?