(The photo is of me breaking the sound barrier on a tricycle during our annual trek to the mountains. I chose this photo because most times this is how my life feels: exhilarating, slightly painful, and more than slightly out-of-control.)

So I’ve decided to stop blogging.

It’s been a much more difficult decision than you would think. I guess because after two and a half years, I’ve come to depend very much on this space as one where I can work out my many and jumbled thoughts. I wish I could somehow express to you how much your readership and comments and kindness have impacted me.

I’ve felt overwhelmed recently by this pressure to build a platform. I am not one who is known for moderation, so it’s no surprise that this blog and the related elements involved in promoting it (ie Facebook and Twitter) have become all-consuming. I need a break from being a platform-builder so that I can be a writer again.

I also need some time to think about what direction my writing life is going to take. I feel a little lost right now as to what I want the next year to look like, and I’m worried that if I just keep doing what I’m currently doing another year will pass in the rather aimless fashion typical of default modes and pre-programmed playlists. I’ve already finished one novel (not sure what to do with that), and I’ve got a second mulling in my brain that I will write this year. I want to focus more on writing short stories and honing my craft. I want to have more time to write for my clients.

Stepping away from the blog does give me a bit of a panic-attack. After all, if you’re a writer these days, it’s all about your platform. Or so they say. But I’ve chosen to see this stepping away from my blog as an act of faith, a deliberate clearing of space in a world where sometimes it’s difficult to find enough space to turn around. Besides, Maile and I have never really followed normal operating procedure, and we continue to be pretty happy with how that’s worked out for us.

Finally to all of you wonderful bloggers out there – you guys and girls have been a huge inspiration to me. Your kindness and support have been incredible. Your willingness to be so transparent and to keep writing the hard stuff is exhilarating. Meeting many of you during our cross-country journey was the highlight of our trip.

So farewell, for now. I’d be willing to bet that I will resume blogging at some point in the future, but I’m committing to at least a year off (or until I land a book deal) (or something else crazy like that).

If you’d like to stay up-to-date regarding what I’m up to, sign up for my email newsletter in the left-hand column – I’ll try to send something out every once in a while. You can also still buy our book, How to Use a Runaway Truck Ramp, HERE. It’s also now available on Kindle HERE.

Send me an email when you think of me! (shawnsmucker@yahoo.com)

Farewell! Adieu! Adios!