Whenever I am writing, there will inevitably come a point where an alarm bell rings. More often than not it will be heard once I’ve already written something and will involve a distant voice asking “do you really want to say that?” (OK I know a voice isn’t strictly speaking a bell, but if you want to be pedantic, I don’t actually hear it, it’s merely a thought that springs up from the recesses of what passes for my brain).
Now if life has taught me one thing, it’s to pay heed to warnings. After all, when a PC asks ‘do you really want to delete this file’ or a woman in mid-argument stops, folds her arms and poses the question ‘do you really want to go down that road?’ whatever decision is made is going to have consequences for someone. Usually dire ones. And so that decision, whatever it might be, should only be made after considering what those potential consequences might be and weighing up the pro’s and con’s of each.
Of course the default decision for all men is ‘no’ whilst for women, it’s yes. In my experience female’s tend to worry about consequences ‘post’ action as opposed to ‘pre’ but then again, they are devious enough to either hide whatever damage they have done or blame someone else for making them do it. Failing that, they can usually call on a man to sort things out for them. And before anyone says anything in response to that, I have lost count of the number of computers I have had to sort out for women who have deleted things even after being warned not to.
Anyway, to return to the case in point…as far as writing is concerned, I usually hear this voice when I commit something to paper that I know is either going to kick up a storm, cause controversy, offend someone or even attract personal criticism (or worse).
In the past this has included such things as my various attacks on the police (the self-serving Army of occupation), the government (cowards), the game (inept), the anti-racist movements (whoo whoo! Keep that gravy train running at all costs lads), the extreme political groups (please wake up to reality chaps), Helen Chamberlain (geezer bird) and gay footballers (for fucks sake, it’s 2010 not 1910!) and in the majority of cases, I’ve gone ahead because I have felt so strongly about something that not to say it would have detracted from the argument I’d been making and I’ll have been confident enough to back up what I’ll have written in the flesh if need be.
I say the majority of cases but in truth, I can only think of one instance where I wrote something and then deleted it. Ironically, it wasn’t in a non-fiction book at all, but in my novel, Billy’s Log.
I won’t go into details about it here but suffice to say, it was very relevant at the time of writing and to be honest, is just as relevant today (as is the rest of the book I think). However, for some reason it didn’t sit well with me and so I pulled it but I’ve regretted that decision ever since because I should have had the courage to say what I wanted to say.
I mention all this now because I sat down at my computer this morning and began writing a blog when all of a sudden I heard ‘do you really want to say that?’ And as I read back over what I’d written, I realised that there was only one answer…..NO!
You see when it comes to the battle of the sexes, even I know that there are some skirmishes which are best avoided! Especially when one runs the very real risk of shooting oneself in the foot!!