There was a time, not so long ago, when writing literally poured out of me. Nary a day went by when I wasn’t writing something, either here on my blog or for a magazine or newspaper. But then someone pointed out to me the existence of a website that in large part was devoted to criticizing everything about me – from my looks to my husband and children to, yes, you guess it, my writing.
I thought I had a thick skin. I’d certainly taken my hits online for stuff I’d written. The worst ws the online comments on stories about the overdose and beating death of my son Henry. But this new vitriol was the worst I could imagine. These people on this website would flat out make stuff up about me. How do you respond to that? I mean, if you argue with them, you’re feeding the trolls. If you ignore them, you allow them to publish flat out lies online with no recourse.
I decided on the latter. Since about 2014 I have done my best to never look at that site, but just knowing it’s there, and that they will mock me and make fun of how I write and what I write about is hard. But one day recently when I wanted to write but somehow felt that I couldn’t, I got mad. And a flip switched in my heart and brain, I’ve been a writer since preschool, when my mother says I used to make tiny books. I was editor of my high school newspaper and a columnist for my college paper. I’ve been freelancing for everyone from The News York Times to Huffington Post to Your Tango ever since. And of course, I am a blogger – something I’ve been doing for about 11 years now, and which gives me a lot of joy. I especially enjoy building a community around what I write via the smart, thoughtful comments that people leave on my posts. You don’t always have to agree with me (in fact, I hope that some of you don’t) unless you add something constructive and meaningful to the conversation at hand, but please, by all means, join our discussion.
I am guessing that the people who rip me to shreds on that website I no longer allow myself to look at don’t care whether I feel joy or not. That’s too bad because making people happy instead of sad is an awesome feeling.
In recent months,I find myself itching to blog again – nasty trolls be damned. I’m just promising myself that I will NOT look at that website. I just won’t.
And I will write….and write….and write… Some of what I wrote will be heavy and other times what I write will be frivolous. But I WILL WRITE. I won’t let a bunch of strangers take away from me one of the great joys of my life.
Thank you for reading. I love hearing from you in the comments. Thank you to all of you who tell me that you’ve missed my writing and who have supported me through the hellish last several years..
And now, I will write.