Woman looking at what it means to be diverse.

Diversity to the point of exclusion?

They say that dreams are the subconscious's way of speaking to the conscious. It's our way of trying to nut out things that have been plaguing our minds.

I must have a lot of things plaguing my thoughts, because I actually recall many of the dreams that I have. Many of my story ideas have started as dreams. Over the years, I've developed ways to cling to those last images that hit me during the moments between REM sleep and waking. When I sit at the keyboard, I start writing and let the story develop.

However, when I sat down to write the other morning, it wasn't the dream itself that I wanted to write, but rather a commentary on the dream's subject matter. That commentary is this blog post.

My dream was about a woman who wanted to write diverse stories, complete with the erotic scenes, but was constantly persecuted for doing so. In her everyday life, she was forced to write many of her stories in secret, with her friends pounding on the door, demanding that she show them the latest works. But the moment she showed them, out came the judgments and the hatred. So, she was forced to hide what she truly wanted the world to see. It was sad, because her stories were filled with beauty and romance, and a world that was accepting of all—yet, that was not her real life.

I guess you can say that it was a nightmare within a dream, and in many ways, my subconscious was telling me to stop worrying about what might be the world reception to my stories and just share the buggers. Get my writing out there. But there is an underlying fear that goes deep into my psyche.

As I traversed the path from my bedroom to my computer, I knew exactly what had sparked that dream. And I knew that I had to speak up about how things have gotten so out of control on the public stage—terrifying as that thought might be.

There is a genuine fear that hangs over my head about being persecuted for the stories that I write. The world says that it wants diverse stories with diverse characters, but there are those who will publicly attack a writer for even attempting such a thing. At the same time, there are those who will go for the throat when a writer tries to stay under the radar, sticking to stories that rest in the comfort zone.

Yet, those of us who want to speak up about this duplicitous discrimination genuinely feel that we can't say anything at all—for fear of being lynched.

The fear is real, and by making my fear publicly known, I open myself up to attack. But I'm doing it anyway, because if I don't, my dream from the other night—the one where a female writer wrote her diverse stories in secret and never shared them with the world for fear of being persecuted for doing so—will reoccur again and again. I know how my brain works. My subconscious wants me to understand that I, as a writer, should feel confident to write whatever I want to write without the fear of attack—and other writers should feel that too.

I do need to apologize to my readers in advance. This post is long, but it needed to be said.

Read More