Sometimes I struggle with knowing what to post this time of year. Not with fiction. That’s usually easy enough. I don’t feel obligated to reference the holidays, and if a holiday-related story comes to mind, I tell it. Easy, peasy. It’s the non-fiction stuff, like my On Writing posts, that leave me scratching my head.
I’m tempted, more than you know, to make quasi-political statements. Then I remember that’s not really what this space is about. While I’m an opinionated person, I have always refrained from airing my views here. Openly, anyway. (Read my stories. You’re sure to catch some of them intermingled in the fiction.)
I’d be lying, however, if I didn’t confess to misgivings about that approach. On the one hand, it can put potential fiction readers off to know my personal views. On the other hand, I have as much right to say what I think as anyone else, and it’s not like my values don’t come through loud and clear in my stories. Besides, I’m not trying to court every potential reader. I’m not trying to write the next ‘great’ airport news stand book. I have no desire to be James (fucking) Patterson.
Heh. How’s that for a snarky little jab?
All that to say, I don’t think there’s a ‘right approach’. If you want to be outspoken about your personal views, be outspoken. If you prefer to keep that stuff private, keep it private. If you air unpopular opinions, you might lose some potential readers, but looking yourself in the mirror every day matters way more. Use your best judgment and go with your gut. If you feel like you’re muzzling yourself, you probably need to speak up.
And when you do, don’t apologize. You have as much right to say what you think as anyone else.
Happy holidays, my friends. Whatever you do or don’t celebrate, I wish you and your family the best. Enjoy any time off you get, avoid fruit cake, and take a moment to appreciate all the good things you have.