You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been blogging much lately. It turns out that having someone threaten to murder you and your whole family because you wrote about the world’s worst homesteaders tends to put a damper on your creativity.
When I started this blog I wasn’t doing it for readership. I’ve never been much for journaling because it felt like screaming into the void, but blogging, even a blog that you don’t think anybody’s going to read, feels more concrete somehow. This was supposed to be my way of floating ideas and working through my thoughts out loud, something that a few friends might read but that was about it. I never thought about blogging anonymously because I’m a nobody and I didn’t think anybody was paying attention.
When the avenue that you use to process your thoughts is the source of death threats against you, where are you supposed to go to write your way through it? My blog is where I go to work through something like that, but if someone says they’re coming to kill you, you don’t want to give them power by talking about it. And it was rough, really rough, though I didn’t know just how much it had affected me until the Planned Parenthood shooting.
I posted this on my personal Facebook shortly after the Planned Parenthood attack:
Having had right wing domestic terrorists (and they are classed as such by the FBI) threaten to murder me and my entire family certainly makes me touchy when I see right wing domestic terrorists going on shooting sprees. It makes me especially touchy when I see conservatives trying to explain away, or make excuses for a terrorist, or do the “both sides are bad” routine to get in digs at Planned Parenthood. What you’re doing when you do that song and dance is to tell those of us who have been victims of right wing domestic terrorist threats due to our political beliefs that if those attacks had been carried out, you’d be too busy spinning what happened to mourn our deaths.
The whole thing was a mindfuck.
It’s all well and good to talk about carrying on in the face of threats, about how fading away is letting them win because death threats are intended to silence participation, but it’s different in practice. When the written word is the tool you use to cope with anger, frustration, stress, but when your very words are why you’re looking over your shoulder, the police are patrolling your neighborhood, and your neighbor is talking about his arsenal of guns, where do you turn? The thing that normally brings solace is now the reminder that you’re not safe.
I’ve had so many blog series planned out in my head that never got going. I started the Inside the Army of God Manual series, but after the initial burst of anger-fueled enthusiasm, writing about right-wing terrorism was too stressful. I still need to finish my Ryn Reads series on Guilt By Association, but I haven’t been able to get back to it because a novel about pro-lifers being framed for domestic terror given what’s going on in the country? I can’t even.
It hasn’t exactly helped matters that I’ve been sick with one thing after another for months–it’s hard to write when you feel like an ice pick is stabbing your ear drum or you can’t breathe because the cold the rest of the family got over in a week turned into a month long respiratory infection because asthma. It also doesn’t help when you’ve been under-medicated for your thyroid condition for years, though that’s a story about doctors not taking women’s health complaints seriously that can wait till another day. When your brain is fogged because you’re sick and you’re already gun shy about writing because of threats, your creativity goes right out the window and it’s hard to find motivation to push through.
I’m hoping that by writing about it, getting it all out there in the open and actually talking about how much the threats messed with my head and my writing process, that I’ll be able to move forward. I like writing, and it’s been hard this past year when it stopped being enjoyable.