I did a lot of thinking in 2015, then even more in 2016. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with myself, what kind of career I was going to pursue, what kind of craft I was going to focus on. Due to my 9-5, my creative writing and reading had been pushed to the side for a language that was contractual, methodical, tedious (actually my creative writing is much like that, too, minus contractual). Using this tongue and my daily focus on the dry landscape of writing for a company left me feeling creatively bankrupt in my personal practice. Instead, I was turning more and more to physical and visual acts of creativity: gardening, woodworking, creating structures with K. I told myself I was getting my house in order so that my mind was could be clear to write. I’m not the type of person that can live somewhere unsettled, somewhere that feels askew. This phase of ordering and building, though, has taken longer than expected. And what I saw as I built and created, was that I was at the precipice for a bigger change.
In the winter of 2015, I decided that ten years of NANO Fiction would be enough. So many journals and websites the publication had grown up with had retired, and I envied those editors for being able to let go, to stop, and to do something else. I knew I wanted to give myself the opportunity to focus on myself, to figure out what I wanted to do, and work only for me. With NANO Fiction, still going, I knew I would never move forward in a significant way, whatever direction that may be.
To compound that feeling, I wasn’t giving the publication the attention that it needed. All the stories I was reading in slush ran together, bookkeeping was an endless chore, and orders took me forever. It wasn’t fair to the journal, the writers, readers, or my fellow editors.
So I made the decision to end a decade of work, and when the ten-year anniversary came along, we declared it the last.
I don’t know what is going to happen next, and I fear it may take me several years to find my new outlet, but I’m happy to have given myself the chance for something different. Fingers crossed I make the most of it.