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IWSG: A fond farewell

Something had to give.

I’ve known it for some time now. I just couldn’t figure out what. Or maybe the truth was I didn’t want to admit it — even to myself.

But, after seventeen years of blogging, I’m hanging up my hat. I thought it would be fitting if my last post was for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, the wonderful network that has probably kept me going longer than I otherwise would have. I’ve met so many amazing people through the IWSG, and some have become friends and even readers and fans. From start to finish, it’s been an incredible experience, and one that I’m grateful to have been a part of.

This blog has also been my “newsletter,” and it will continue to be. I’ll still post any important writing or Cruise Ship Killers news once a month, more if there is enough to say. If I’m in the mood, there may be an unsolved mystery, or an appropriately eerie post or two. What I won’t do anymore are posts that take multiple days to research and create — if I’m going to spend that much time writing, I should be working on my books.

Comments have been a sign of success but also my downfall. I haven’t been able to keep up with responses and return visits, and every time I had to write a post asking you to bear with me, promising to catch up soon, I felt guiltier. It’s been a big weight on my shoulders, but I’ve finally had to accept that I don’t have the time to respond to everyone properly. Not without giving up something else important, like sleep.  I still have no idea how Alex Cavanaugh does it. That man deserves a medal.

Perhaps I’ve come full circle. I began this blog to chronicle my journey as I attempted to achieve two goals: getting a novel published, and fighting in the ring. Most of you reading this know those ships sailed some time ago, and therefore, this blog has served its purpose.

Thank you so much for all the kind and insightful comments, the shares, the discussions, and the friendship. I can’t promise I’ll return any comments I receive today — I know better now than to make promises I can’t keep — but I can promise to still be your friend and ally. I’m not going anywhere, and you will always know where to find me.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll be back one day, that magic day when I can work one job instead of several. I’m not ruling anything out. But in the meantime, my focus has to be on my writing. And I know that you, my dear friends, will understand.

The purpose of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Insecure Writers Support Group BadgeThose who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. To see a full list of IWSG authors, click here.

1 part newsletter, 1 part unnerving updates,
2 parts sneak peeks of new projects.

57 Comments

  1. Avatar

    I’m so proud of you for making this decision! You put your all into everything you do and you can only give so much before you burn out. You’ve always got my support and my love!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thank you so much, Nikki. Case in point–I STILL haven’t had time to go through your edits. How sad is that?

      You have mine too, 100%. Your support and encouragement has meant the world to me.

      Reply
    • Avatar

      This can’t have been an easy decision to make, so well done for looking after what you need. Your presence will be greatly missed! Now if only I could find the link for your pre-order! 😉

      Hugs!

      Kelli

      Reply
  2. Avatar

    Dear Miss Moncrieff, this is indeed a sad day for us, your devoted followers, but you have made the right decision. You would have to be inhuman to juggle all the different hats you wear, and still come out sane at the end.
    I wish you nothing but health, happiness, success and love.
    Take care.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      You must do what you need to do and the last thing you want to feel is guilt. Enjoy your writing and enjoy the spooky place you go to.

      Reply
      • JH

        Thanks, Birgit. There has been so much guilt! Thanks for all your support over the years.

        Reply
    • JH

      Thank you so much, Mark. That’s lovely of you to say. You’ll still hear from me every month; I just won’t be as frazzled, and there won’t be any “I’m sorry I still haven’t returned your comments; please bear with me” clause. Hopefully that will be an improvement. 🙂

      Reply
    • Avatar

      Knowing yourself and changing, as needed, are truly signs of positive growth. Congrats on reaching your goals And letting things go that have served their purpose.

      Reply
      • JH

        Thanks so much Kaelyn. That’s very kind of you to say.

        Reply
  3. Avatar

    All best wishes J.H. A brave decision. Bitter-sweet

    Reply
    • JH

      Very, Susan. You get it. So happy to have “met” you.

      Reply
  4. Avatar

    That’s such a shame, I’ve really enjoyed reading your blogs, but all things must end sometime! A difficult decision for you I’m sure J.H but you know what’s best for you.
    You will be missed by many people.

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks, Jim. I’ll still be here every month, and sometimes that was as much as I was able to post, anyway. I’ll just be doing it sans guilt, and focusing on what my readers are interested in. Thanks for supporting my decision.

      Reply
    • JH

      Thanks so much, Pat. That means a lot to me. All the best to you too.

      Reply
  5. Avatar

    Hate to see you go but understand you now have so many things going on. You could always use the IWSG monthly post as your newsletter and keep it short. Thanks for being a part of our journey as well.

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks so much, Alex. I can’t begin to adequately express how much the IWSG has done for me over the years. It’s literally been life changing. Thank you for everything.

      Reply
  6. Avatar

    I’m pleased to hear you’ll be devoting your efforts to your writing — blogging is a nice adjunct but I agree, posts that take days to compile are not the best use of your talents. (Though they are fun and entertaining!) Good luck and I’m looking forward to hearing from you hither and yon. You’re terrific!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks so much, Randee. I believe we met through this blog? So that’s another thing to be thankful for. If it gets to the point where I can let teaching go, I’ll probably be back.

      Reply
  7. Avatar

    Aww I’ll miss your posts but you have to do what feels right for you. Good on you for making the tough decision
    Debbie

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks so much, Debbie. You’ll still see a monthly “post” from me, so please don’t be a stranger. <3

      Reply
  8. Avatar

    I’ll miss your posts, but we all reach the day when blogging is just not the most important or even necessary part of our lives. Good luck with your future endeavors.

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks, Denise. I still enjoyed it, and it still has tons of value for me…I just no longer have time. It may be that teaching also requires a ton of writing and screen time. I wasn’t doing the best job juggling that, my own writing, and the blog.

      Reply
  9. Avatar

    I’m sorry to hear this, but I understand the need—keep in touch with the newsletter and IWSG, and focus on those novels!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks, Rebecca. It was time. I really appreciate all your encouragement over the years. Don’t be a stranger!

      Reply
  10. Avatar

    I’m sorry to hear this, JH, but it’s totally understandable. I was very glad to read this, though – “I’m not going anywhere, and you will always know where to find me.” Whew! 🙂

    Reply
    • JH

      I’ll definitely still be here, Madeline. Subscribers will continue to get at least a monthly update from me.

      Reply
  11. Avatar

    Making a necessary change takes courage, so congrats on being brave enough to do what’s right for you. While we’ll miss your IWSG posts, we’ll still have your novels and career news to look forward to. Onward!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks so much, Lise. As soon as I made the decision, I felt that weight come off my shoulders, so I knew it was the right choice. I’ll still be active on the site, and hopefully will have new cool things to offer my readers now that I won’t be spending five hours or more a week writing posts and returning comments.

      Reply
  12. Avatar

    I’ll miss you, but yeah, definitely dump the guilt factory. If something makes you feel bad rather than lifting you up, then it should go. I still see you on other social media outlets, so I’ll be wishing you well there.

    Thank you for all the time and effort you’ve given to us.

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks so much, Loni. I love visiting other blogs and returning comments, but when I was keeping up well, I was substituting that for my own writing, which didn’t make much sense. I’ll keep cheering on your endeavours via social media!

      Reply
  13. Avatar

    It’s a wise person who knows when to put their time into other pursuits. Sorry you have to halt blogging, but it is a huge commitment of time, so your decision makes sense. Continued good luck with your career!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks so much, Lee. I’ll probably be hanging around the IWSG still, so I hope we can keep in touch. 🙂

      Reply
  14. Avatar

    I enjoy reading your posts, so whenever it works for you, great. I’m signed up with two emails and we’re connected on FB. Also, I think it’s unnecessary, and unrealistic, to respond to every comment. Sometimes, it takes a bit of clicking around even to find the commenter’s blog, and some don’t even have one. So, enjoy your writing space, your success, and please, please, continue to send me your books for review! I’m a fan.

    Reply
    • JH

      YES! Agreed, Mary. I’ve spent over 30 minutes trying to find a person’s blog before, or clicking on all those CAPTCHA things repeatedly, or seeking writers out on Facebook to let them know I tried to comment but their site wasn’t letting me. I didn’t mind doing it, but it ended up taking too much time.

      Thanks so much for being a fan! I LOVE fans. 🙂 Should have something new for you very soon.

      Reply
  15. Avatar

    I’ll miss your posts, but I get it. Sometimes we have to make the hard choices and let go of something that we like, but don’t have the time or energy for anymore.

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks, Patricia. I hope you’re well. Alex may have convinced me to stay, so we’ll see what happens.

      Reply
  16. Avatar

    I never knew about this group, how interesting.
    I agree with you totally if you’re going to put that much energy out put it into something worthwhile and something that can support you monetarily. Good luck and keep the faith

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks so much, Jill.

      Reply
  17. Avatar

    I’ll be sorry to see you go, but you have to do what’s right for you!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks, Sarah. I’ll still be posting once a month, just probably no more than that.

      Reply
  18. Avatar

    It’s important to set boundaries that let you do the things that matter most to you. Congratulations on protecting your writing time!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks so much, Samantha. I may be sticking around, though. Alex made a convincing argument.

      Reply
  19. Avatar

    Good job in putting your priority first. You achieved what you set out to do, now, go write! So we can enjoy more of your books! I think I might be making the same decision soon. Writing/finishing novels is my top priority…

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks, Lisa. It is hard to juggle both, especially if you’re not retired. However, Alex may have just convinced me to stay…

      Reply
  20. Avatar

    Well, look at the big shot who’s totally outgrown us now. Well, when you’re rich and famous (well, richer and famouser), I hope you remember where you came from!

    All the best to you! Keep up the good fight and we’ll keep looking for your name on best-seller-lists and in the next big Netflix Horror series!

    Reply
    • JH

      I wish that were true, CD, but for it to be true, I have to spend more time writing! However, Alex has presented a very convincing argument that I should continue with my plans but make that monthly post an IWSG one. I may not be leaving as soon as I thought.

      Reply
  21. Avatar

    This post is making me sad and happy at the same time, JH. Sad, because this long tradition of yours is (somewhat) coming to an end. But, I totally understand what you went through… Especially the guilt and the blog (with all its connotations) weighing on your shoulders.

    Blogging weekly is a serious commitment, especially when you need to do research and don’t just “whip” the posts out. And, when you have real jobs! But, the most time-consuming part – in my opinion – is reading other people’s blogs and leaving comments. Answering comments on our own blogs takes time as well, but that part I still find fun and easy.

    So, I say: good for you! You made the right decision, professionally, and I applaud you for doing so. I’ve often felt burnt-out with all the “obligations” that come with blogging – enjoyable or not – despite my blog being my own thing without any rules… If only that could be my sole occupation! If I would have put half the time I spent on blogs writing a book, I would have written a couple already!

    Enjoy the extra time and the bigger focus on your writing career! I’m very grateful that we met online. Wishing you all the success in the world, my friend.

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks so much, Liesbet. I really appreciate the kind words.

      It is a huge commitment, and you’re right–it’s the return visits that took the biggest chunk of time. I could probably manage to keep my own blog running, but the return visits push it over the edge, in terms of the time required.

      Reply
  22. Avatar

    Well, I’m glad you’re not totally leaving your blog. We’d really miss you and or awesome insight if that were to happen. But hey, we’re all only human. You can only do so much and I definitely know what it means for other things, even that are writing-related such as responding to comments, to bump off time for writing projects such as fiction. So when you need to add to the time to work your writing projects then that’s what you need to do. It’s nothing to feel bad about. Good luck!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks so much, Steven. I feel a bit sad because it’s the end of an era, but mostly relieved. I just can’t continue to juggle everything without going mad. 🙂

      Reply
  23. Avatar

    This makes perfect sense to me. I have felt lately that I have no time to blog properly either. Good luck with your writing!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks, Tamara. x

      Reply
  24. Avatar

    I am one of your fans no matter what. Saw you on Cruise Ship Killers. You go girl!

    Reply
    • JH

      Thanks so much, Tami!

      Reply
  25. Avatar

    I’m sad to see you leave. Wishing you much success. Hope to see you back some day soon.

    Reply
  26. Avatar

    I wish you all the best and will continue to follow you on social media.

    Reply

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