Taking back what’s mine

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.Β 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: penny@pennygolightly.com

Would somebody please come and pick me up? I’ve landed.


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  1. Cripes! I can only imagine how hard that must have been.
    I’d love to see you come back to blogging here. Your blog is a great asset to the financial blogging work and help to may people.

  2. Exactly what Judy said. You’ve been missed! Sorry to hear you’ve had a tough time, I’ve no doubt you’ll be back to your blogging best and welcomed by everyone. x

  3. I’m so sorry. I’m lucky that my clients are very laid back and get that I won’t do anything that would be a conflict of interest on my blog and to be honest they’ve never asked me not to do something.

    Glad you have your voice back.

  4. Yes please – I have missed your blog very much! Especially as I now have a kitchen big enough for a windowsol garden, I need your tips on growing my own grub! x

  5. SO sorry to hear that, but delighted you’re back. Please do get the blog back up and running and start sharing those money-saving (yet stylish) tips once more πŸ™‚


  6. I’ve not read you before, but this ‘no writing’ clause sounds so horrible that I’ll certainly be returning to see what the net’s been missing.

  7. Yes, come back! Sorry to hear about that, but never never never give up. K x

  8. Wow how awful!

    I have never visited your site before this morning but I would say do not give up – your loyal readers will return and it’s such a shame to quit something you love because of this.

    Good luck whatever you decide to do (:

  9. Penny I really missed your tweets and blog posts. Please continue with your excellent work – you provide a great service for the thrifty among us πŸ™‚

  10. Penny! It sounds like you’ve had the most awful time – please don’t let what’s happened demoralise you, we love your blogs and what was your old employer’s loss will be our gain!
    Other websites should be clambering over each other to get a bit of Golightly on their site not cutting off the best thing about you – your friendly accessible nature with lashings of bargain brilliance. Hell, if I was looking for a writer I’d be hiring you on the spot! Unfortunately I work in a supermarket so I can’t, but I’m very sure good things will come to you – you deserve them.
    Welcome back – we’ve missed you! When’s the next blog?

  11. Hi everyone – thank you so much for all your kind words and encouragement.

    Hey Jackie T – I’ll do some writing during the week to see whether I can still muster up a few bargains. One thing though, I’m still working there so please be careful about dissing them πŸ™‚ As for the freelance writing, that’s what I’m most worried about to be honest.

    Thanks all,
    Penny x

  12. Missed your insights and input Penny – see the last six months as a brewing pot – you’ll have tons to share now. If nothing else, it’s reminded you what you have and what you love – if anyone can make both work, you can. GREAT TO HAVE YOU BACK! xx

  13. I’ve only just read this as I couldn’t get your blog to load on my phone! I was so worried about what you might have announced! I’m really glad to hear that you’re coming back but I’m going to e-mail you to talk about it in more detail πŸ™‚

  14. Hi Faith – thank you for the positivity, it’ll come in handy. So nice to be back! x

    Hey Tamsin – does seem to have been some trouble loading but hopefully it’s better today. Many thanks for your email too, will go read and reply… P xx

  15. I only found you during the last 6 months, really hoped this blog hadn’t gone for good. Would love to have more to read πŸ™‚

  16. Hi Penny
    Just found you today and would like to say it would seem such a shame to give this up!. I found you through the search engine under thin and crispy pizza LOL bet you never thought to be described as such LOL. I am well into bargain hunting at the mo and sounds just the site for me. So I will urge you to keep up the good work and I am sure it will be a success

  17. Hello Ruth – I hope you like the updates. Please stop back from time to time, and share any bargains you might have found…

    Hi Harri – Well, seeing as it’s you I can hardly slack off now, can I? And also: yay!

    Hey Daisy Mae – You have excellent timing, it has to be said, so please stick around. By the way, it’s thin and crispy pizza for dinner tonight at Golightly Gardens. Bon appetit.

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