The Next Chapter

Sometimes in life, we have to give up something to get something else. For me, it’s time to say farewell to this blog.

Capture_CommuniqueYep, after more than 700 (!) posts, this is my last one – at least for a while.

I wrote my first post on Sept. 27, 2009 when I became president of the National Federation of Press Women. My first post was about my campaign platform. With members across the country, I was looking for a means to share knowledge with others on a regular and frequent basis. For some reason, I thought that posting three times a week would be ideal. Members and other followers responded favorably to the posts even after my term as president ended two years later.

Through the years, I did scale back. Now instead of posting three times a week (what was I thinking?!), I now post three times a month. My focus evolved, too, and my tagline became, “Navigating careers, the media and life.”

The few times when I considered ceasing publication, others would convince me to keep writing. They shared how the advice guided them through a difficult time, provided them with new tools, or reinforced messages they were sharing with their colleagues or bosses. So I kept writing.

I have enjoyed every minute of the writing. But the blog was more than writing. First came the ideas and research, then writing followed by editing. I always appreciated when my readers pointed out errors so I could fix them, even when it was a former police officer who worked for me and was so proud to point out a mistake. Harvey wasn’t trying to show me up, but rather to show me that he had learned some rules of writing from me. I was thankful he reached out.

My blog is not controversial so comments aren’t frequent. I always appreciated hearing at conferences and workshops from readers who shared, “I don’t comment on your blog, but I want you to know how much I enjoy it.” That meant the world to me because the blog truly is a labor of love.

That said, the top commenters on my blog posts are some of my favorite people. The top commentator is my former high school English/journalism teacher Roger Hudak. He encouraged me back in high school and he encourages me now. Anyone who knows Roger knows he will make a difference in your life.

I have appreciated all of the comments, but perhaps none more so than from Mary Lou Hinrichsen, whom I met through NFPW. Mary Lou was from Iowa and died at age 90 on Feb. 5, 2017. She was a journalist, farmer, and musician. Here’s what she once told me, “You do a great job of keeping me up to date our here in the cornfields of Iowa on what’s going on.”

When I write, I picture Mary Lou.

Another remembrance I wrote was of my dear friend and mentor Emyl Jenkins Sexton. Even now reading the post, I become teary-eyed, although she wouldn’t want that. I’m still working on becoming a published mystery author, and that is the reason I am ceasing my blog. It is time for me to focus full-time on publishing my books.

My travel memoir about visiting all 50 states before I turned 50 is finished. I am currently shopping it. My mystery was three-quarters finished, but I have decided to start fresh. Thanks to my friends and colleagues in Sisters in Crime and James River Writers, I have learned much about writing. I fear my manuscript will take much to get it in shape. Starting fresh is easiest. I’m hard at work. I will revisit the original manuscript at a later date. When I am a published author, I hope to see and meet many of you at book signings. And, I’m sure I’ll be promoting my books on my blog and elsewhere.

At the suggestion of many readers, I also plan to turn my blog posts into mini books, which I plan to sell. Check back here on occasion to see what I am up to. I hope you will stay subscribed for when the whim hits me to write a post.

For the last few weeks, I’ve enjoyed re-reading many of my blogs – reliving conferences, thinking about friendships, looking forward to new adventures, and yes, getting a bit sentimental. I knew it would be best to not announce the end of the blog in advance.

As I’ve told myself, and I’ll tell you: Don’t think of this as good-bye. Think of this as another chapter. I hope you will turn the page with me.