The Spectre

*UPDATE* 
A few days after posting this Blogger reviewed their review of their policy on adult blogs and decided NOT to make any changes! But still, the Spectre looms so this post remains.

All my life I have known about the concept of freedom of speech, freedom of expression. As a child, circumstances challenged this and so I held a lot of that expression inside. I grew and the self-censorship remained.

Over the past few years, I’ve let bits of myself slip out into the public arena via this little space on the internet, my blog.

But the circumstances are closing in. Old feelings of ‘keep quiet’ ‘shhh’ – ‘that’s bad’ are creeping in.

I’m a dramatic artsy type – but I’m also extremely tight about what I express and how I express it. I feel the responsibilities of my rights very keenly. I always put a content warning up and you can’t even ‘like’ my Facebook page unless you’re 18. 


The reason for this today is that my art (see my drawings page) may be deemed unsuitable for this blog platform. May fall under this change of my blog host’s policy – ‘we’ll no longer allow blogs that contain sexually explicit or graphic nude images or video. We’ll still allow nudity presented in artistic, educational, documentary or scientific contexts, or where there are other substantial benefits to the public from not taking action on the content.’

I hope my drawings would be seen as artistic – but I can’t deny they are intended to be erotic – so does that mean they are graphic and therefore unacceptable? Who decides?

I’ve always felt constricted. So this is not a new feeling to me. I know what I have to do – I have to either take down my drawings or make a whole new blog elsewhere and redirect everyone there.

It’s just tiring and sad.

I try my best to express myself with honesty, respect for others, and with a joie de vivre that I feel in the pit of my soul. I endeavour to be as eloquent as I can when it comes to my prose – I hope I convey a depth to my writing and art that is considered and true. But it’s not me that gets to decide that. It’s a subjective thing. And I know when you let something out on an audience, it is no longer yours, it is changed and defined by other’s experience of it – which is one of the most delightful and privileged things about it all.

I don’t sell many books – in fact I probably give away more than I sell. But still, I feel the urge to write, so it’s not for the money. I don’t make money from my art either, unless people commission a portrait, but it wouldn’t pay the bills. I do it because I need to be creative, if I don’t make or express something everyday, a little bit of me fragments. Perhaps I should just keep it to myself. But the joy of collaborating, viewing, sharing, being part of other people’s creativity keeps me posting. Keeps me buoyant.

Anyway – this has turned into a wee bitty of a rant. Maybe my drama’s for nothing and my pictures will be fine – but that’s not the point.

There’s a spectre looming.

12 thoughts on “The Spectre

  1. Tabitha, it's awful to think that a few narrow minded people have the ability and means to make others doubt and second guess the way in which they express themselves. Your art, which it most definitely is, is exquisite and not in the least offensive. As for your books, I'm a HUGE fan!! Don't stop doing what you love and believe me when I say that there are many out there that take joy from your work in every form it takes. Ps: just downloaded 3 of your books xx

  2. I find your art work breathtakingly and find something new each time I see a piece online. I agree with Karen, petty small minded people are ruining social media and the internet for the masses. How else would we see your art? As for your books, I love them, they take me out my comfort zone (esp The Clockwork Butterfly) and I love it…. I really enjoyed your Jellies short the other day…. I haven't seen them in flesh yet but when I do I will be taking a copy with me to read in their shadow. Thank you for doing what you do xx

    1. Awww Alison – thank you so so much! For your words and taking the time to write them down – really – the Jellies are utterly superb – so awe inspiring 😀
      Thanks again x x x

  3. Your joie de vivre shines through in everything I've seen you say, write and create. This Blogger thing is shit, censorship seems to be every where we turn at the moment. Stay free and keep doing what you do, because you bring a lot of pleasure to people's lives and that's precious. Hugs, Rebecca x

    1. Thank you so much Rebecca! Feeling stifled and unable to communicate what is inside is an awful thing – and certainly something I do NOT want to be passed on to future generations! Your words are so gorgeous, thank you x x x

  4. Ah, I missed this somehow. Such a sad post. Bad crap is afoot in the world at the moment. Freedom of speech and choice is far from valued. It's scary.

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