Thank You All from the Bottom of My Heart

Hi, Everyone! Marcia, here today.

When I was invited to join Story Empire last spring, I can’t tell you how truly honored and excited I felt. I’d followed the blog for some time and knew it had a well-earned reputation as an informative and helpful place to learn all sorts of things about the craft of writing. I still feel exactly the same way, and wouldn’t trade my time here for anything. But—you knew there was a “but” coming, right? —this year has not been kind to any of us, and I now find myself with several issues that are slowing me down significantly.

As a person who has always felt much younger than my actual years, in addition to one who figures if I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it to the very best of my abilities, it’s extremely difficult for me to grasp that my life is changing a bit. Much as I hate it, I have to accept that I can no longer keep up the pace I set for myself. Yep. I’m getting older. Add some health issues to that, and … Reality Check time.

After much pondering and deliberation, I made a list and chose the three things I most need to focus on at this point in my life, other than family & dear friends, of course. Here’s what I came up with:

  • My Health. If I don’t take care of myself, I’m no good to anyone else. I’m working on that already, but have a few more issues to deal with.
  • My Writing. I still have stories I want to tell before I’m ready for the rocking chair, and yet I haven’t managed to get more than 3 measly chapters of my WIP done this entire year! That’s gotta change!
  • My Own Blog. I’ve been on an extended blog break from The Write Stuff for nearly four weeks, something I’ve never done in close to 20 years of blogging. (That alone tells you how overwhelmed I’ve been.) I’d like to gradually resume my long-standing TWS features before my wonderful followers wander off to more interesting places. And I’m definitely planning to keep the blog open to all my friends and fellow writers who’d like to share their latest news, including everyone here in the wonderful Story Empire family.

To that end, as you may have surmised, I have decided to “retire” from contributing to Story Empire. This was a very difficult decision, believe me. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here, and will miss being a part of each month’s posts. But I promise I will NEVER stop following along and sharing the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday posts on The Write Stuff, so others will remember to check them out, if they aren’t already following, too. Nor will I be a stranger. I’ll just go back to enjoying and learning from the posts as I did before joining the group.

My heartfelt thanks and admiration go out to Mae, Harmony, Staci, Joan, Craig, John, and Gwen, for welcoming me to Story Empire, and for being such steadfast friends and supporters. And a huge thank-you, as well, to all of you who’ve responded so beautifully to my posts each month. I appreciate each of you more than you’ll ever know.

Now, go forth, my friends, and write with happy hearts, while I try to do the  same, because–as always–happy hearts are the way to approach pretty much everything! (That’s my story, an’ I’m stickin’ to it!)

 


76 thoughts on “Thank You All from the Bottom of My Heart

    • I’m always running late these days, Sue. (One of the main reasons I knew it was time to step back a little bit.) So don’t worry! And thanks for stopping by. I’m sure I’ll be seeing you in the new year, too. Happy Holidays! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Mark. I’ve been cutting back on a few other things, too, and I’m beginning to feel better. Still got some work to do, but I’m on the right path, and have learned to listen to my body when it says “Enough, already!”

      Thanks for stopping by and taking a moment to say hello. And thanks for your well wishes, too. I hope the new year is much, much better for each of us! Happy Holidays! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Victoria. I really hated having to leave Story Empire, but I do think I’ve made the right choice. It’s nice to know you’ll miss my posts here, but feel free to check in over at The Write Stuff. I will slowly be returning to many of my regular features over there, as I’m able. Thanks so much for stopping by to comment, and I hope you have a warm and happy holiday! 🙂

      Like

  1. I totally get you Marsh. My cup of life runneth over too. I didn’t even get my new book out this year! One thing after another is the 2020 syndrome. I’m not beating myself up over it, and we learn that we must adjust when the pile gets too high. We’ll see you at your blog, and then who knows what a year from now will bring. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we’re all suffering from burnout, even if it isn’t always caused by the same thing. And 2020 sure added to it. But I’m regrouping and will be focusing on the things I mentioned, and all will be well. Eventually. 😉 Yes, it will be interesting to see where we are in another year.

      Thanks for stopping by, Debby! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. By this time, many people are on their rocking chairs. You’ve been very busy and outgoing. It must be a tough decision to say ‘goodbye.’ But health has to be first, without it, we’d be dragging our feet on everything we want to do. Take care of your health, Marcia, and do something that only you can do for yourself. Then and only then, do it for others. Take care! Will see you on other posts!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Miriam. That’s exactly how I ended up making this decision. Like it or not, we do slow down a bit as we get older, and sometimes adjustments have to be made. Yep, you’ll still see me popping in here to comment, and over on The Write Stuff, too. I’m not ready to “power down” just yet. 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by and taking a moment to comment. I appreciate it greatly! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • A wise and sensible decision, Marcia. I’m still very active with flexible schedule but stopped some commitments with a fixed schedule. I can’t guarantee to have a good night sleep every night to have the same energy every day.
        Yeah, see you around here and there, Marcia. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve had a tough couple of years. You aways make light of things, Marcia, in that witty way of yours but you’ve faced some major hurdles and that fall was as serious as they come. As priorities go, your health does have to come first and I’m pleased you’ve decided to do that. You’ve been so very supportive and I selfishly want you around as long as possible. Let’s pray that the vaccines work and we eventually get back to a recognisable ‘normal’. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, my friend! You always say the nicest things and make me feel better, even when I’ve had to make a choice I didn’t want to make. I’m glad to know you aren’t tired of me yet, because if I can possibly manage it, I plan to stick around, one way or the other, for some time! And yes to getting back to something akin to normal again. Boy, wouldn’t that perk us ALL right up!

      You take care of yourself, too, Trish, and I hope we have lots and lots of good chats ahead of us for years to come! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I will miss you on the SE team, Marcia. This can’t have been an easy decision, but I’m glad it was made with your own welfare in mind. I’ll look forward to your posts on your blog and more new books. Take care of yourself, and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It is very tough when you have to slow down due to health issues and/or getting older, Marcia. I see it with my parents and even a little bit with myself. I can’t keep the hectic pace up now without taking regular breaks. It’s a real nuisance but that is life. I will still see you over at your own blog. Have a wonderful Christmas, Marcia.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It IS hard, Robbie, I think because deep down inside, we hate admitting that we’re mortal! 😯 But that’s the truth, and it’s part of the Plan for us to slow down a bit as we grow older, even without health issues to add to the mix. But I feel like cutting back on some things means I’ll be able to focus more completely on a few others, so it’s a good idea, overall.

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful words, and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, too. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I’lll miss your posts on Story Empire, Marcia, but I totally understand. Time-constraints mixed with health issues can feel overwhelming. {{{gentle hugs}}} You’ve been blogging for 20 years? No wonder you’re tired. LOL See ya on The Write Stuff!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ll take those gentle hugs, Sue! THANKS! I’m sad about leaving here, but you’ve hit the nail on the head. I was definitely overwhelmed by it all, and had to admit I wasn’t handling it well anymore. Yep, I’ve been blogging pretty close to that long. Started before they were actually called blogs. More like public “bulletin boards” or “forums.” And I’ve had several private blogs starting with one about gardening (Who’s Your Granny?), and the last one before I started writing was called “Bookin’ It” and was my review & book chat blog. But I do believe The Write Stuff will carry me from here on out. So glad you’ll continue to follow me there, and I’ll keep on reblogging posts from SE over there, too. Thanks again for your understanding words! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for those encouraging words, Teri! It wasn’t an easy decision (nor was it the only thing I’m giving up), but it was the right one for now, I think. And I appreciate your support! Thanks for stopping by today! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. As someone who likes to act younger than his actual age (Am I the only guy who sometimes has to do a math problem to actually remember how old he is?🤣), I can appreciate these sentiments. As I often say about my career, I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat with one exception—to look after myself as much as I did my students. Best wishes moving forward.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’d be doing the math, too, except that after my fall, math never came back “online.” It’s okay, though. I hated it, anyway, and my phone has a calculator. 😀 As for aging, I always say the only reason I remember my birthday when it rolls around is because it’s on St. Patrick’s Day. 😀

      Glad you see where I’m coming from with this decision, Pete, and thanks so much for your well wishes! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • St. Patrick’s Day is a great holiday to be born on—at least that’s what my Irish roots tell me. I’m a Pearl Harbor baby. I was the kid in class who nailed all the right answers to that sad event.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Hmmm. Given my choice, I’ll stick with St. Paddy, I think. 😉 But at least we have something to jog our memories when the birthdays roll around. I forget everyone else’s, but now I’ll remember mine AND yours. 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      • Oh, we’re two days a part on our birthdays, Marcia, as I’m the Ides of March. Learning to prioritize (and to take care of ourselves) is a difficult task, but an important one. I look forward to reading your posts on The Write Stuff.

        Liked by 3 people

      • A fellow Pisces, I see! 🙂 I’ll think of you in March, Pam, as I’m wearin’ the green and a few shamrocks. Thanks so much for understanding why I needed to cut back from some things, and I’m looking forward to seeing you popping in on The Write Stuff. Plus, I’m sure I’ll see you in the comments over here, too, when I check out future posts. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. You are a wise woman, Marcia. I can take lessons from you. You are so right in that if we don’t take care of our health, we are no good to ourselves or anyone else. No worries. I will continue to follow you here on this blog and I know you will still be around for a long time to come. Hugs and Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Jan. It was one of those “Moments of Truth” things, and hard for me to admit to myself, but it was time to reassess and (very carefully) choose what to focus on going forward. Health had to be first, for sure. And thanks so much for your support and understanding, too. I appreciate both greatly! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:

    Today, it was my turn on Story Empire, and sadly, I decided it was time to say goodbye. I’ve loved being part of the Empire, for sure, but realized that I was having trouble keeping up. This was NOT an easy decision, and I hope you’ll stop by to read the full post. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m so sorry to hear you are struggling with your health. I will send healing energy your way, Marcia. I met you here, so I don’t know your personal blog, but I would love to follow it. Can you post the link for me, please? Your posts were a wonderful addition to this awesome group, and it’s sad to see you go, but priorities are just that – priorities. And I honor the choices you have made for yourself. I look forward to seeing you on your own site and in the comments section here. Take care. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much, Yvette! I’d love to see you following The Write Stuff: https://marciamearawrites.com It’s been pretty quiet there for the last four weeks, as I was on that break I mentioned above, but that’s about to change. I am bringing back some regular features that folks seem to have enjoyed in the past, and hopefully will again, including #GuestDayTuesday, #FirstLineFriday, #WildlifeWednesday. Plus some new things.

      And thank you for your kind words about my posts here, too. I certainly enjoyed being part of Story Empire, for sure. And I appreciate your well wishes greatly! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Craig! I’ve certainly enjoyed being part of this special group, and you’re one of the reasons why. I’ve got a health plan all worked out with my doctor, and hopefully, that will be the ticket to gaining back at least some of my energy and focus. Getting back to my writing routine will be a huge factor, I think, so we’ll see how that goes. Thank you for your well wishes. They are greatly appreciated! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Joan. I promise to take care of myself, and I’m looking forward to a much better 2021 for ALL of us! Thanks for welcoming me to Story Empire, and for your good wishes going forward. Don’t forget you (and all the gang here) have an open invitation to be guests on The Write Stuff whenever you have news to share, be it new releases, cover reveals, new reviews, or promos. You’ll always be welcome. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  11. We’ve talked privately, Marcia, so I’ll leave the mushy stuff there and just say publicly what a pleasure it’s been, you’re right to prioritize, and you’ll always be welcome here. Best wishes always. And as we both know this isn’t goodbye, see ya later!

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thanks so much, Staci, both for the private emails and for taking time to add your thoughts here. I appreciate it greatly, and I know this isn’t goodbye. I refuse to give up my friends! Here’s to a much better 2021!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Jill. It’s been great getting to know you, too. Sometimes, we have to make choices we’d rather not, but life is all about change. In this case, sad as I might be, I do believe this is the right thing for me. Glad you understand. Thanks so much for taking a moment to stop by and wish me well. I appreciate it! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  12. Marcia, I was every bit as excited as you to have you join the Story Empire crew. I am so saddened to have you leave, but I fully understand the reasoning behind that move, and I support you 100%. I hope that 2021 proves to be the year when everything comes together for you, especially regarding your health. Be sure to take of yourself, and you KNOW I will be following and supporting TWS and eagerly looking forward to any new releases you have. Of course, we will continue to chat books, authors, and characters, especially a few very special ones like a wise-cracking wizard and a certain albino FBI agent. Big hugs, my friend, PenderPal and Dresendphile!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Ah, Mae! I’m so sad to be leaving, but I know it’s the right thing to do at this point in time. I’ll miss being part of this team, but I’m comforted by knowing I won’t be saying goodbye to my friends, just altering how I keep in touch going ahead. And you know you and I will always stay in touch. Having you as a special friend for the last few years has been wonderful, and I do not intend to let that disappear. Nope! We have way too much stuff to discuss going forward to lose touch with each other! (Oh, how I’m looking forward to–or dreading–the upcoming Dresdenphile discussions, once you’ve caught up. O. M. G. !! 😯 ) And of course, you’ll always be my fellow PenderPal. I just saw a new Preston & Child book has arrived for our reading pleasure. Not sure how much A.X.L. is involved, but it’s still bound to be good.

      Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such a steadfast friend, and for being the one to contact me about joining Story Empire. I won’t forget what a great time I had here, and how much I enjoyed being part of it all. Here’s looking ahead to a much better year for all of us! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  13. You’ve been a fantastic addition to the team, Marcia, and I’ll miss your posts and fun presence. I look forward to seeing you on your blog, and I’m sure we can keep emailing and getting one another hooked on various authors, lols. Take care, my dear friend. Hugs xx 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thanks for your kind words, Harmony! I will definitely miss posting here, but you’re right that we will stay in touch. I still have to get your thoughts on Battle Ground, after all. (I’m braced for THAT discussion!) 😀 And I promise to take care of myself if you will take care of you, as well. Don’t forget I’m always just an email away, my friend, and we have lots and lots of authors out there for future discussion! 🙂 Thank you so much for welcoming me to Story Empire and making me feel so comfortable here, Harmony! Here’s to a better 2021! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  14. You are an inspiration, Marcia. It’s been a year of hurdles for most it seems, and your grace-filled embrace of those bumps-in-the-road has helped all of us face our challenges. Thank you for being beautiful YOU. I will miss your formal contributions at Story Empire, but I look forward to your responses to the SE posts and your gifted writing on your own blog. ✨ 💗✨

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’ve seen how much work goes into the research behind Story Empire posts, and yours will be missed, Marcia. You are right to put your health first, of course. I think 2020 has made us all reassess our lives. We’ve certainly found out who our friends are,,, and how wicked a few people can be scamming the vulnerable.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Thank you, Sarah. It’s nice to know you’ve enjoyed my posts, but yep. I have to slow down a bit and take better care of myself. Yes, this has been a year for reassessing a lot of things, for sure. Thanks for stopping by today and taking a moment to comment. I appreciate it! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    • Aw, thanks for such kind words, Gwen. Funny, I was going to say you’re an inspiration to me! 🙂 It has been a tough year for all of us, for sure, but your calm, positive, and always kind approach to each day has been lovely to see. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you, and don’t worry. We’ll stay in touch via SE and TWS, as well as via email. I’m NOT giving up my friends, no matter how busy my life is, and that’s a promise! Thanks again for your friendship! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  15. At the moment, I am pretty much where you are now, Marcia. This year has been tough, but it has revealed so many of our shortcomings. I am trying to decide on the best way forward, along the lines of ‘less is more’? Wishing you all the best for 2021!

    Liked by 4 people

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