Well, I’m late posting, so this will be shorter than I had planned.
Several years ago I was at Con Carolinas in my home town of Charlotte. I had just released my first fantasy novel, Act of Will, and was dipping my toe into the convention scene for the very first time. It was all a bit strange and intimidating since I knew no one, wasn’t really up on the genre, and knew nothing of the social dynamics of conventions.
But I got lucky.
I met three people there, David Coe, Faith Hunter and Misty Massey. I don’t remember how. Maybe we were on a panel together. Maybe we were hawking books in the same hallway. Anyway, we got chatting and hit it off. A month or two later I did my first guest post for Magical Words. A few months after that, I did another, then I was invited to contribute a couple of times a month, and eventually once a week.
It’s been a long and rewarding journey. I’ve felt extraordinarily connected and supported by everyone who uses this site and I’ve made friends who I know I’ll be in touch with for the rest of my life. We’ve gotten together over food (and the occasional adult beverage), we’ve hashed out the publishing industry a thousand times, shared our triumphs and our disasters, our hopes and our anxieties. It’s been quite the trip.
Which is why saying goodbye is so hard.
This has been a tough year for me for lots of reasons, much of it to do with the sheer amount of work I was trying to get done, and—after a lot of soul searching—I realized there were things I had to pull back from. I’m giving up the academic journal I edit, I’m scaling back convention appearances, and—reluctantly—I’m pulling out of MW.
I have to say, in all honesty, that the work and stress is only one factor in my decision to leave. Another is that lately I’ve found it harder to bring things to the table that I thought readers would enjoy or get something from, and I don’t want to waste anyone’s time. I take the site very seriously and don’t want to do a half-assed job.
So. It’s time for me to step away.
I hope to stay connected to what I recently heard someone refer to as the MW family (posters and commenters) and, if you’ll have me, plan to post occasionally as a guest from time to time. Maybe in a year or so my batteries will be recharged and I could consider coming back on a regular basis, but we’ll see.
For now its goodbye and good luck. Thanks to all involved for making this such a great experience for me. It is unexpectedly hard to leave. Stay in touch and keep writing.