Yes. I am a hard cat to understand at times. Many times, I don't really understand myself... I just live and react.
The reality is that I am a person who takes many things far too seriously. When I write, I am cool with criticism of the content. What I am not cool with is criticism of my process. While I am not someone who works in the field of traditional journalism, I approach everything I write, even my blog entries, with a certain integrity in mind.
I would never, under any circumstances, make up a source. Nor would I ever print anything I felt to be skeptical or untrue. This is especially true of anything that casts the Oregon program in an negative light.
To have someone even hint that this might be the case is something I will respond to emotionally. Yes. I get it, people will disagree with my writing. Sometimes my opinion will differ from theirs. And, you know what, that's okay. I have never once taken umbrage to critical commentary about the specifics of what I have to say.
What I do take offense to is someone questioning my integrity. And, yes, I take that personal.
So? Sue me.
The reality is that there are many things I am thinking about as a method to create the kind of distance I need from an audience in order to sustain that ability to slough off what may be said about a story.
This whole episode has helped me as a person to learn where my mistakes have been. I have been too close to my stories at times; too close to my readers at other times. I have invested a lot of time and energy into providing as much information as possible.
I could not even begin to tell you how many hours I spent attempting to perfect the HTML code for an article; or even this blog! I take everything I write very seriously. From the presentation to the words themselves. Writing is a process and it is an art.
Am I the best? Well, I would tend to say that the lack of knocks on the proverbial door would indicate the demand for my skills to be somewhat lacking. I recognize I am just another guy who writes a blog. But I still take it serious and my integrity should NEVER be in question.