Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Finding my voice again

My blog has over 5,000 posts. I've posted two or three times a day going back over the last six years. Over the last few months, I have trailed off to posting almost nothing. Call it a sabbatical. Call it soul searching if you must, but I could not find my voice. I could not write. It was simply not possible. 

There was a time when I enjoyed writing. I remember being excited about the prospect of sitting down to write. Up until just recently, I could not even answer my emails let alone write a blog post. The excitement was gone. I could not bring it back despite wanting to. There were too many road blocks. 

I know where my problem originates. The world is an ugly place and I write about ugly people. What the reader does not see is what happens behind each post. The research is truly disturbing. It is hard to read the stories and even harder to make calls. My hate mail is epic. The death threats and threats of violence are a constant byproduct of my writing; especially when I write about Catholics or Baptists. The abusive language grates on me too, as do the obscene photos. What people cannot express in a nasty email, they find a way to express in photos. The crap I get is amazing. 

The constant legal intimidation is a bother, but mostly ends up being just silly bullshit. These things all take a toll on me, but it is the interviews with victims and families that kill me. All of them are so fucking sad. I could not take it anymore. I had reached a point where I could not read the news or venture into my email inbox out of fear of the latests victim's appeal for help. I chose to waste my time instead. I chose to do anything other than read email and write for my blog.

I started reading my blog again a few weeks ago. I went back six years and picked a post at random. I discovered that I used to write about everything, but recently I had switched over to covering clergy sexual abuse cases. I was not writing about photography, art or anything that was beautiful and interesting. Instead, it was all darkness and gloom. I had strayed off the path. I was writing for other people instead of for me.

Getting back on the path is easy. Write more about beauty and less about darkness and gloom. It should be easy, right?

So… I'm back. Posts in development include productivity tips, photography, art, politics, atheism, and pedophile pastors. I plan to write a series of posts following nutball congressman Michele Bachmann and nutball Judge Ray Moore, plus a series on the craziness that is California Libertarian politics. I plan to revisit the Carson ugly photography project and to post photos from my iPhone portrait series. It's all good. I hope my readers understand. I can't keep the focus on pedophiles without losing my mind.