Here is what I have learned. This is my own story, my personal thing. It is a thread through my writing, both fiction and blog. It is not a generalisation, nor is prescriptive. It is what I have learned. I started out not knowing this and through writing I have learned it.

Just because I demand the freedom to say and write exactly what I want doesn’t mean I am always going to do it. I do not vomit out all my thoughts, ramblings, rages, bugbears, furies, criticisms and abusive thoughts endlessly. I could, but I don’t. I choose carefully, like a surfer choosing which wave, waiting for the right one, the best one, the most appropriate one.

This is why. I have learned that I do not want my writing to hurt anyone. I have written to hurt before and it felt terrible. In fact, that’s how it all started. I said harsh and critical things about other people’s work. I believed in what I wrote, and stood by it, and defended it, but I didn’t manage the fallout of it very well. This does not mean that I will stop myself from taking on a battle when I think it is necessary. It means that I will choose my battles like I choose my words.

I have learned that I need to be very clear and unambiguous. Readers need to understand exactly what I am saying. They need to get the message. Even when I am unraveling stuff that isn’t clear. That needs to be made clear. Here I have learned about the how of saying it.

I need to be trusted. I need to be believed. That takes work, and clarity, and choice.

When I am writing I want everybody to read what I have written and know that I mean it, that there is purity of motive, that I am not bullshitting or being clever, or trying to please someone else. I have learned the what of I am saying.

I am still learning. I am learning to keep quieter about the things I don’t understand or know about. I am learning to listen more and read more. I am still learning the what and how of freedom.