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Taking stock

April 19, 2013

Today, I read in my Facebook feed that the Murderati blog was ending. It was probably time. Most of the authors that drew me there had moved on and I didn’t connect with the replacements the way I had before. They were fine writers with good things to say, but the connection wasn’t there.

Some of the writers who left were buried under their real w0rk–writing for novel publication. Some had massive upheavals in their lives–lost jobs, lost spouses, the difficult end of a marriage. Some stopped writing, except for the blog.

The nice thing about a multi-writer blog is the diversity of viewpoint you get, mixed with the dependability of getting a specific voice with a specific viewpoint on a specific day. Some of the posts challenged me. Some bored me. And some angered me. I even posted a comment that unintentionally pissed off one of the writers until it got clarified.

But seven years is a long time, and the last set of roster changes left holes that were never filled. People’s needs and interests changed and what was once a great opportunity and a thrilling challenge became extra work that needed to be pared away to make time for the important stuff.

So Murderati will end at the end of this month after seven years. And that’s probably a good thing.

And the stock-taking that went into this decision was probably also a good thing and a good example for us as writers. We are creatures of habit, and many of those habits start off with a great benefit. Over time what was once beneficial becomes a detriment. It could be a critique group, a writing partnership (mine is thriving), or even participation in a group writing exercise or blog.

It’s true you have a responsibility to the writing community as a whole, but you also have a responsibility to your own craft, too. Maybe it’s a good thing once a year or so to take stock of what you’re doing and how it’s working for you. Cut the extra, so you can concentrate on what matters.

What matters for you? And what’s getting in the way?

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