When Writing Turns Selfish

When Writing Turns Selfish

So I’ve been thinking about this blog more than normal lately (so some). And it’s problematic.

Writing a blog about myself has always felt a little silly, but at the beginning of the year I was firmly convinced that it would be worth it. I wasn’t going to contribute fluffy clutter to the usually less than serious blogging corner of the internet. I wanted to write something of substance and to talk about my work in detail. I wanted to share everything that I learned about human trafficking, to be able to explicitly discuss our challenges and victories and, more than anything else, to tell the stories of our survivors. I wanted to talk about the strength of survivors moving from vulnerability to freedom, of lawyers fighting monolithic systems, and even of the law enforcement officers in their efforts to reduce and prevent trafficking.

But the longer I’m here, the more selfish that feels. I still want to write about trafficking, and I firmly believe that stories of justice being done and the world changing as slowly as it does should have more attention on every writing platform there is. But what I really want is to facilitate the healing of our survivors and the changes my coworkers make to this city. And I’m learning that sometimes telling stories can be selfish. The work we do is sensitive, and I need to get out of the way.

The reality is that it’s inappropriate and unsafe to put information about the work IJM does on the internet, even in as obscure a portion of it as my wannabe blog. Things don’t wrap up neatly very often, if ever. Cases usually stay open for years, some lasting a decade or more, and there’s a real possibility that they could be dismissed because someone on the other side finds an intern’s blog with just enough information. 

The stories of our rescues, convictions and closures should be told,  but only in a context that lets the work of providing justice to the poor continue safely. Unfortunately, that means most of what I do/make/write doesn’t have my name attached, but making a name for myself is pretty much the lowest priority of the year.

I have decided that it would be best to move any work talk to a monthly-ish email update. This will protect everyone involved in the actual struggle for justice and give me the freedom to tell these stories right. Comment, message me, or tell my mom if you’d like to be added to the emails!

This isn’t necessarily the end of the blog though. I may keep it around for exactly the type of self indulgent travel posts I was convinced I wouldn’t write. They’re actually pretty fun to write, and I’d like to have a better answer to the inevitable “how was your year?!!” than just “so great!!”