Blogger's Block - the Ethics of Writing

I usually enjoy writing. Or I used to, anyway. A long time ago, I wanted to be a writer of some sort, perhaps a journalist. In retrospect, the old version of me would have been very ill-suited to it some ways – possibly I still am.

I've noticed something interesting about writing. It's something that hadn't really occurred to me until a few years ago. Unless a writer only ever creates rather dry articles such as the previous one, then they will, slowly but surely, reveal what sort of person they are, how they think, what they feel, what their strengths and weaknesses are.

As you might gather from some of my other work here, privacy is something I value highly, though that is probably true of almost everyone.

There's the sticking point. There might be some things I value more than my own privacy (though it's never an easy trade), but what right do I have to take it from others?* People's characters and views are probably mostly formed by their experiences, and their experiences are mostly created by the people around them – the people they spend, or have spent, most time with.

A shrewd reader of people can detect past and current influences on a person, particularly if that person is as straightforward and honest as I tend to be. Having spent so much time observing and thinking about other writers' work, some of that skill of reading other people seems to have rubbed off on me a little (though I suspect I'm still a bit rubbish at it compared to most people). Another thing I suspect of other writers is that having one's psyche on display for everyone to gawp and prod at also causes most writers to develop exceptional spinning skills, to help protect the privacy of their thoughts. Unfortunately for me, this is something I'm not so good at.

Maybe I should stop writing and return to the nice, unambiguous language of computer programming.

*For the record, I can honestly say I've never knowingly revealed anything about anyone else if I thought it could have a serious or lasting negative effect on them. Though of course, there are theoretical situations in which that might be the right thing to do.