Writing No-go Areas: Politics, Religion, and Sex

During my late teens and early twenties, I made a vow never to write about politics, religion, or sex.  My YA reasoning behind this decision was because I didn’t know enough about these controversial subjects to competently write about them.  Of course, as time goes on, you learn more… about everything.  So, on and off over the years, I broke my vow and I dabbled, a little.

“People say to write about what you know. I’m here to tell you, no one wants to read that, cos you don’t know anything. So write about something you don’t know. And don’t be scared, ever.”

 Toni Morrison


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Your younger self told you to lay off writing about Politics, Religion, and Sex

Writing about politics is a nightmare and from a blogging perspective, I rarely stray from my path of political righteousness.

I’ve learned by experience that one misconstrued adjective about a leading politician, even in jest, leads to the loss of hundreds of  Social Media followers.  And where would we be without our Social Media friends?

As Brexit looms, hard or soft, who knows? It is very tempting to let rip about how I feel about the UK leaving the EU.  I live in Jersey, Channel Islands, our rock nestles off the coast of mighty France.  So close you can almost smell the freshly baked croissants.  If I shout, bon matin tout le monde from our north coast, I can expect to hear a rallying cry of bonjour mon ami echoing back across the 14 mile stretch of La Manche (English Channel) that separates us.  Jersey may not be politically entwined with the UK, but I feel we are bracing ourselves for less of the bon accord we have so enjoyed for many years.


Around the world, religions will always agree to disagree, ad infinitum.


From the moment I could walk, I was taken to church by my parents.  In my early teens and away at boarding school, my father died.  I was dragged out of a Maths class to be given the grisly news and after making me swallow two Aspirin, I was popped back into class again.  The best way to traumatise a child in the days when a stiff upper lip was de rigeur.

Following his death, I would take myself off to contemplate in the school chapel, but when I failed to find any answers there, I stopped going.  The healing process only started the day my English teacher asked my class to write a poem and the floodgates opened.  I haven’t stopped writing since.

In adulthood, I believe in something.  I’m not sure what it is, but I know it’s there, I just don’t feel equipped to write about it.


A little slap and tickle never did anybody any harm, but I won’t be writing a Bonkbuster any time soon.  After one of the earlier editorial reviews of my (hopefully) soon-to-be-grabbable-novel, this is the feedback I received on my passionate paras…

“You don’t need to go into graphic detail but it comes across as if you feel awkward about going into any detail.”

Any writing tips I’m given, I work on.  So I dug out the dusty, well-thumbed through copy of the most illuminating read of my teenage years, Vātsyāyana’s Karma Sutra.  After doing a bit in-depth revision, I steamed up the screen of my Mac, fantasising about what sex might be like with Uhtred of Bebbanburg of The Last Kingdom played by the fine figure of Alexander Doetsch, before rewriting the raunchy bits for my MC’s enjoyment. There are only two steamy scenes, with humorous overtones, in said novel.  Blink and you might miss them.

Hell!  What do I know about anything anyway?  Maybe I should write more about my so-called writing no-go areas.  What I do know is, if something burns deep inside you, you need to write about it.






Thank you very much for visiting my niche-less blog! If you have time before you leave, would love you to tell us what you think. All the best, Tessa Barrie

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