Here I am, changing things again. Maybe it’s the spring weather we’re having (down here, in NOLA), or maybe it’s the fact that I went to two funerals in the last couple of weeks – one of a cousin who died (not much older than me) from cancer and another who died terribly young (27) from where a car ran a red-light and hit his motorcycle.
Maybe it’s that I’ve become one of those people who start telling a story and wonder if I’ve told that one already. I don’t want to be that person–I want to be out there, living new stories, finding new things, new ways of being.
When we moved to New Orleans for this job, I knew it would turn everything on its ear, and it pretty much has; I get up in the morning and walk to breakfast, saying hello to more people in a morning than I did all week, back at our house, where we lived out in the suburbs, and even if you got up early in the morning, the most you’d see were cars driving off to work and a few joggers, maybe a mom or two in a stroller, or someone walking a dog. There are layers here, to this place, that I haven’t had the chance to experience, since I’ve never lived in a “city” atmosphere, even though I’ve lived in Baton Rouge all my adult life. (Baton Rouge is a series of neighborhoods, one melting into the other, and it had no real proper “downtown” until just the last few years. It’s a beautiful place to live–just very spread out.)
I’ve had more ideas for stories, having lived here for two months, than I had had in the full two years prior. Stories I’m itching to write. Short. Medium. Long. Different genres.
What I lack is the time to write them.
I weighed that, for the last year or so. Weighed want I want to do (be a writer) against what I was doing more of (blogging). I didn’t want to let go of blogging. I kept thinking, “But… but what if they forget me?” And this little stab of fear would hit my solar plexus and I would think, “must keep blogging” in order to keep my name out there.
But here’s the thing: keeping my name out there means focusing my time on that instead of telling stories. And what the hell good is my name doing being “out there” if there are no new stories?
I kept finding myself using experiences or observations to fill the blog. And then, they were used up, husks, and not suitable for recycling into a story.
So, I’m stepping away from Murderati as a regular, but not without a lot of love for my fellow ‘Rati members, who are truly wonderful and gifted, and not without remorse that I won’t be a part of the group any longer. I’ll be around in the comments on occasion, and I know what will happen — they’ll bring in someone new and exciting and you all will love them, and that fresh perspective will be great for everyone. I can’t even envy that–it’s the way it should be.
Meanwhile, I want to thank so many of you who’ve read me here over the years. Your comments, your encouragement… honestly, you just cannot know how much you mean to me. You got me through some very dark writing times, when I honestly did not know if I could still write, if I was even a writer any more. You’ve made me smile and you’ve made all of the time here absolutely wonderful. You’ve given me courage. I have to act on that.
If you ever doubt that leaving comments means anything to us, please know that it does. It keeps the dark at bay, the doubt, the voice on our shoulder that says no one cares what you have to say, and it reminds us of why we slog all of those months–or years–trying to corral a story into some semblance of order.
Thank you, so very very much.
I hope you will make whomever follows me feel as welcome as you have me. Let him or her know the ‘Rati love. Because you rock.