For the last six months I have been legally bound to not write on PennyGolightly.com and today is the first day that I’m free to do so again, so I didn’t want to waste the opportunity.
It’s been difficult at parties and other events, people asking me what was going on, why I wasn’t writing. The answer is simply that I couldn’t. Things were going quite well with this site in January and February this year. It was a lot of fun writing articles and chatting with like-minded people, the blog was mentioned a fair bit in the media and I was getting commissioned to write some interesting pieces.
Then came a full time job offer – not something I’d been angling for, but it sounded good. The only catch was they wanted a clause in my contract that stopped me writing on this blog. There was talk of non-competition, there was talk of me bringing my blog content over to them. It seemed reassuring, so I signed on the dotted line.
In reality it turned out to be a gagging clause, and I ended up with nowhere for my real voice. I was suddenly not free to do things I’m good at, or to have perfectly nice, pleasant, harmless chats with other readers and writers.
Losing your outlet for your natural writing voice is devastating. Right now I feel like I’m recovering from a physical injury, like my throat has been slowly crushed. Like so much time and creativity has gone to waste.
The saddest thing of all is that no gagging clause was ever needed. I have no intention of ever naming the employer. I will never make public their business plans, or write about how their employees behave, or how I have otherwise been treated. Other people have done this to them recently, but I take a rather dim view of that sort of behaviour. It just isn’t my style, and it strikes me as completely undignified and lacking in class.
Anyway, here I am, six months down the line and in nowhere near as cheery a position as I was in this February. I’m looking at the tattered remains of my once-lovely site and wondering whether I have any hope of sweeping away the many cobwebs and breathing some new life back into her. I’m wondering whether it’s even worth trying.
So, dear PennyGolightly.com readers – if you still exist – it’s over to you. Shall I try to get the old blog back up and running again? I’d like to hear your thoughts. If you’d like to express yourself publicly (oh what a thrill) then please leave a comment below, or if you’d prefer to contact me privately then you know the drill: firstname.lastname@example.org
Would somebody please come and pick me up? I’ve landed.