This is one of those series that I desperately wanted to write, and never thought I’d be allowed to.
That statement is from Seanan McGuire‘s LJ.
I’ve a great respect for her writing, I’m an unabashed fan of her Incryptid series, and while her other series is rather darker than my tastes lean toward I’ll never deny that they’re good … for what they are.
But statements like that one?! She’s not the only one I’ve seen voicing either the identical or a similar sentiment. In such cases I can’t help question the intelligence and/or sanity of the one saying it.
You’re free to write anything. Hell in China you’re free to write anything you want. George Orwell‘s immortal 1984‘s horrible dystopia is the only occasion I can personally name where you’re not free to write what you wish.
Publish, now that’s another cup of tea altogether. Perhaps the publisher you’re with refuses to accept your young adult space western romance about an intergalactic rodeo clown and his sorcerous twin. Big deal, find another publisher, or bloody self-publish! The only way you could be not allowed to publish the story would be if it violates copyright (sorry fanficcers, but it’s just plain fact. File off those serial numbers and put a fresh coat of paint on first), or if you’re writing something the Chinese government doesn’t like and you happen to be in China.
Really, it’s just daft phrasing at best, sloppy thinking most likely, or just plain stupid at worst to think you can’t write or (barring a couple of legal barriers) even publish something on grounds of ‘am I allowed to’. Not until Big Brother is watching your every action and possibly monitoring your very thoughts.
So go on, write that fantasy story about the lesbian trans-gender dwarf and her elven lover and their traveling circus of bandits and cutthroats in a fairyland Camelot. No one but yourself … and, hopefully, good taste … can stop you. After that, find someone who’ll buy it or just put it out yourself, because in this glorious age the old adage ‘if you want something done right …’ can be very easily applied to the good ol’ profession of writing.