For example, one might be triggered by guns or the mention of guns. But the problem I face is that a lot of my work might contain themes and elements that are not as obvious. How do I then navigate this maze blindfolded so to speak? Something not a lot people realize is that there is only so much redaction one can do. Once a book is published you can only modify it so much before it is no longer considered to be the same ‘form’ as the previous work and must be resubmitted through the entire process again.
Which means that in my line of work my options for providing quality trigger warnings is somewhat limited. I could resubmit by book several dozens times or I can try to cover the majority of the concerns others might have. But what then of blanket statements? Such things aren’t considered respectful either.
I’ve had some people tell me “Then don’t write about this” or “Go here and no further.” but the thing is writing is an incredible medium for telling not only stories but also self-expression. Some of these elements might be drawn from my own life and are a very personal reflection of who I am. How then do I express these things in the medium I am best suited to express them without feeling that I am now intentionally isolating my readerbase?
We see what happens all the time with content creators who even in passing make a remark or say something unintentional that is to them not a problem but is a big problem in the lives of their consumer(s). We also unfortunately see a lot of a hive-mind mentality arise as well, avoid this person! They did a bad! While this is important to help protect a lot of people it is also very damaging to the individual who did the thing. There are things that are truly horrid or express a deeper layer of darkness but it would be inaccurate to say that this is true of everyone.
What then is the appropriate course of action? Shall I only tag the big ones and risk the one small subtle element that I wasn’t aware of? Or is it worth the extra work to constantly not have my material (While not my primary income it is my art) available for the consumers I am trying to reach?
Overall, please understand that my intention is to be respectful. To seek a common area that I can comfortably write from without fear, something that is very important to me. Something that I am driven to not only create but also to share with the world.
Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy post and please I look forward to your helpful commentary and insight.
PS: This was hastily written at 2AM, please ignore any glaring errors, I'll try to fix them as I find them when my eyes can focus again ahah. This is just something I needed to share to get some insight on.