Friday, November 14, 2008

Keep Your Opinions . . . Somewhere

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

As a writer, it's in my best interest to be in agreement with the above quoted text. The First Amendment to the Constitution is powerful. It means a lot to a lot of people, but there are some who think that it means that they can say whatever they want, whenever they want, to whomever they want.

NOT TRUE. I repeat: not true. The government isn't allowed to tell you what you can and can't say, but I sure as hell can. And one thing is to keep your opinions to yourself - at least most of the time. Or, more importantly, out of your writing. One of the things that comes up a lot in some of the stories I read is that people want to get across their "point". They want you to understand what they're trying to say and then believe in it. Sometimes it comes off a little too much like a bit of a personal agenda, rather than a story, and that can be aggravating for both a reader and an editor.

I'm all for people having opinions, but it should really be considered who your audience is and what you're really trying to say. If you voice your opinions too loudly, then you become an evangelist for your own beliefs, and sometimes you may not have any followers. Be careful about what you say; be careful about whom you say it to; and be careful about saying it too often.

If in doubt, make sure you have a decent argument (as in, the facts behind what you're trying to argue) when you debate with someone. At least, that's my opinion.

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