General

Time For A Break

My first book, Passports, appeared November 28, 2013. Around that time I started this blog, and since then I have posted here usually at least twice a week and sometimes lots more; and often they are complicated posts. I maintained that pace while simultaneously also writing three further full novels, which appeared in 2014, 2015, and 2017.

[My novels so far. Paperback versions. Photo by me, 2018.]

Thanks to this blog I have made numerous authoring and creative acquaintances. Many of you as readers were also here when a long-time dear friend died far too young in 2014, as well as, of course, when my uncle – about whom I have written so much – and then my mother died within two weeks of each other in October 2015. Getting through those life low points was made easier when writing about them here and knowing you were reading.

I have learned as well that blogging requires both consistency and predictability. If a blog ceases to become a reading “habit,” readers and followers are likely to drift away. And that’s understandable.

So I’m approaching five years of regular postings on here. Frankly, I am feeling worn out. Other life issues have also emerged and I cannot ignore them.

[Moon rise, Hertfordshire, England. Photo by me, October 2018.]

I need to step back and take a social media break from EVERYTHING – my blog here, Instagram, Facebook… everything. If you follow me, I hope you will keep me at least in the back of your social media mind. If you don’t already, be sure to set your WordPress preferences for my site to “receive a notification” of a new post, or “receive an email” for one, that way you are informed whenever I post next.

[Meme by me, 2018.]

I can’t predict how long this “sabbatical” will last – it could be just weeks, or it could well turn into months. Regardless I do not plan to vanish from the net. I will still follow and like and comment on your blogs and Instagrams (and read any emails).

I hope quietly to continue also to work on my latest novel…

[New tentative cover for Tomorrow The Grace. Click to expand.]

I just wanted you to know why new posts have ceased. You are entitled to an explanation. I know I hate it when blogs I follow, and Instagrams I like, etc., simply “stop” or even disappear without the owner at least having shared with us what the heck happened.

That sound you hear now is me taking an extra-deep breath. I feel I must also simply acknowledge this remote possibility. If for some reason I never return, remember, we’ll always have Paris stories.

Thank you for these five years, and many best wishes, wherever you are in our world. 🙂

______

UPDATE: Obviously that post really made an impression. A couple of hours after I posted that, I found myself in a surprise Messenger exchange with a cousin in the US. She had not long been awake:

[Screen capture of Messenger. Helen is my wife’s name.]

I had no idea I was her morning coffee chat? What we can learn.

Until the next time…

4 replies »

  1. I totally understand. As I dash between teaching and tutoring duties getting hardly any writing done, I’ve admired how prolific you are both in your writing and on social media. Please do not disappear for too long. I’ve enjoyed your company. There are only a few people I “keep in touch with” across social media. You are one of them.

    It has been said that writing is a lonely business. I disagree. I’m never lonely when I’m writing. It’s when I’m not writing that I feel the need to commune with kindred spirits. This is what I cherish about our tiny writers’ community.

    In the final analysis, I write this finding irony in the fact that I don’t even know whether you refer to be called R.J., Rob, or Robert. Don’t leave me hanging, my friend . . . Happy writing, and have a wonderful holiday season!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Laura. It’s Robert, I suppose. I started writing as “R. J.” (Robert James) because I had read someplace women won’t read books like mine if they thought a man wrote them. Silly, I guess. Now, changing is just too much trouble.

      Part of the reason I am so tired is how much time I have spent writing and blogging and trying to fit life around them. Being an excellent typist sure helps; I can often type faster than I can talk! But I just felt now was a good time to pause the blogging and other stuff. I felt a “requirement” lift off my shoulders suddenly and now have more time to write. I want the next book to be my best and felt the best way to make sure was to devote myself totally to it over the next few months.

      I am quite pleased to have run into you, and to read of what you experience and to exchange experiences. Writing is a solitary endeavor, so contact with others is really useful. Before social media, writers had to get out of the house. My uncle had a landline phone permanently attached to his ear. Now, we blog, Insta, tweet, etc. But it can be too time consuming and we need to be careful we don’t overdo it!

      I’m not disappearing, as I said. I’ll still be on Insta and reading your blog. I will still need that ongoing community! See ya!

      Liked by 1 person

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