Sunday, 4 March 2012

To The Flags

When we lived in North Cyprus,  my husband and I decided one day to walk to the flags. These were huge flags, one Turkish, one North Cypriot (a flag recognized in precisely one country -- Turkey) and I was sure we could reach them if we just kept walking.  My husband, a pessimist, didn't think it was possible, and as we labored up the hill, I began to think he might be right. The road curved and twisted and spiraled, and it went up and down. Sometimes the flags looked like they were right around the corner; sometimes it looked as though the road we were on was taking us in the opposite direction. Then, almost an hour after we set out, we turned a corner and saw that we had reached the flags--we were there. And yet there was another road that zig-zagged away, up through the mountains, and I knew that the flags were just the first point of a much longer destination, and that one day we would have to come back and see where that road led.

I started this blog back in 2007, mainly because I'd always wanted to write, but also because I had nothing better to do. My husband and I had sold our small business, after which we could not find teaching jobs in our small town. We were in a difficult situation: virtually broke and missing intellectual stimulation, but reluctant to go to a new place with better teaching opportunities; we didn't want to put our children through the trauma of another move. So my husband did what he could: he found a job delivering packages. I did legal typing, applied for every secretarial job within a 30-mile radius, and took care of my family. And when I could, I wrote. I believe that writing kept me sane during that period.

Having a blog has been a great discipline and experience, and it has helped me meet so many interesting people who have given me so much. Someday I want to be able to do what these people have done for me:  to help other beginners find their way, deal with the frustration of endless rejections, and generally learn all the things you have to learn to be a good writer.  One of the things I have learned is that there is no pinnacle, no end point. Even if you publish something big and manage to become a bestselling author, you just keep going, keep writing, keep trying to get even better. 

This may or may not be my last blog post, but whatever the case, I won't be able to spend so much time here: I've been lucky enough to find almost more work than I can do teaching English and Japanese, proofreading, editing, and, especially, writing. I am writing this to explain why I'm disappearing:  I have so little free time now that I have to spend it on writing. I've made it to the flags, but I want to aim higher.

So thank you to everybody who has come here to read what I've written and to comment. I have loved reading your comments and your blog posts as well, and I hope to meet you again -- at the flags, perhaps, or beyond.



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43 comments:

Lisa Shafer said...

Oh, wow. Congratulations!
I hope you do try to drop by your blog once a month or so to give us some updates on your life. I think you have had such a very interesting one that mine dulls in comparison.
All the best to you,
Lisa

Jennifer said...

Aww....best of luck with this next path! But I hope you check in every once in a while over here....

Mirka Breen said...

I feel like saying- "Oh, no, don't leave!" Yours are some of the best posts in blogosphere.
But a climber's got to do what she's got to do, and you are working hard.
I hope to read your book(s) and find your essays wherever they show up.

angryparsnip said...

Congratulatons !

I had a feeling that this was coming, when a writer slows down on the blog posts you know it is because the writing/book/job is going well.

I will miss reading your blog but I am so happy that your too busy to write it. Maybe Lisa idea of you dropping a note every month or so just so we know how you, your family and the book is going !

cheers, parsnip

Dale said...

xoxo

We'll miss you, and do drop a note from time to time! But it sounds good.

Carrie S said...

I hope you'll return to the blog because I enjoy it a lot! But I'm happy for you too. I will miss you, and look forward to reading your prose again... in book form?

Liz Straw said...

Congratulations on the new job. Sounds like you are going to be busy, but perhaps a note or too, your posts are always great to read.

Donna Earnhardt said...

I'll miss you! I don't comment on everything you write, but I read a whole lot of it! You are a great writer and I look forward to seeing your books on our shelves!

annebingham said...

Oh, my. I hardly ever gasp aloud when reading a blog. This will take some getting used to, Mary. I do, however, understand completely.

Kit said...

Good luck with all your work - Do keep posting here, however occasionally. I'll keep you on my Google Reader list - I'm always happy to see a new post from you - the promise of a good bit of reading and a smile or two!

Aledys Ver said...

Congratulations, it sounds great. I am sorry that you will probably not be posting often or at all, though. I enjoy reading your blog and I usually share your posts - some of my former colleagues back home in Arg. have even used one or two of your posts in the class :)
All the best!

Meg McKinlay said...

Mary, you know we all love your blog. But the reason we love it is that it's so well-written and full of heart and insight and all the many things you will of course pour into any writing you do.

So here's to more writing in whatever form it takes. And I know we'll be seeing you past the flags on that winding road up the mountain sooner rather than later.

Pat said...

My heart sank in the middle of the second para and I thought - she's packing it in.
Your posts are excellent and much appreciated but do consider the odd exchange. With someone like yourself whom people have come to enjoy reading, the odd 'Hi' would still be appreciated.
I only say this having just had an enforced separation from my computer and cyber friends and really felt the loss.
Good luck in all you do and - don't be a stranger:)

Bish Denham said...

Oh Mary, I shall miss you, yes, but how well I understand about blogging and the time it takes away from doing the thing we really want to do, which is write.

Go and raise your own flag high. May it wave as a beacon for the rest of us.

Chocolatesa said...

What everyone else said. I'm sad and happy for you :)

Marcia said...

Oh, Mary, you've enriched us all so much with your posts. But all of us who blog and visit blogs know what a time and brainpower commitment it is. When the paying work is booming and the writing that's dear to your heart can hardly be fit into the time left, something's got to give.

I shall keep you in my RSS feed and peek now and then to see if you've updated. Do, if and when you can. :) All best wishes.

Vijaya said...

Mary, I'm not even supposed to be here, but a little bird told me (okay I confess I peeked while having a cup of tea) ... but I will miss you very much. I am happy that you have work that keeps you busy, happy, along with a full pantry and a roof over your head. I will look forward to your books ... and just maybe, you'll be a bit like me, and won't be able to stay away.

May you go to even greater and greater heights. Love, V.

Charles Gramlich said...

All good luck, of course. And we'll be here when you do get a chance to check in.

Anne M Leone said...

Oh no!!!!! Okay, that was my first reaction. Perhaps not very encouraging, but I've enjoyed reading your blog so much.

Let me try again... Good for you. Having plenty of work, taking the time to focus on what you really love, that all sounds really positive.

And I'm really looking forward to seeing where your writing takes you. Best wishes with the climb ahead of you, and thank you for so many fond memories from before.

Angela Ackerman said...

I'm with Mirka--my gut clenched at the idea you might not post again! But I can totally understand though, and you need to move in the direction that allows you to grow :) Hugs, and know that if you ever need anything, I'm here!

I wish you loads of happiness and success!

Ange

Anonymous said...

I am excited for you, but boy will I miss you!

May more and more wonderful things come your way as you continue on your path.

Best of luck,
Tinamarie

Robin said...

I'll miss you, Mary! Your blog is so wonderful! At least you are slowing down for great and fulfilling reasons. (Notice how I said "slowing down"? Hmmmm?)

Kim Ayres said...

Your blog really is one of the finest on the net - always a good read, no exceptions.

I'm really pleased you now have plenty of work to keep you busy and sane, but I will miss your writings.

Meanwhile, don't disappear off Facebook, and remember I only live an hour away. It's too long already since we last caught up for a cuppa and a blether :)

debra said...

It's like that, isn't it. Sometimes it's just hard to find the time and the heart to write a post.

Our daughters have grown up in the time we've known each other here, and so have we. I will see you on the flip side.

Love from this side of the Pond.

Paulo1 said...

Another light just went out and my world is a somewhat darker place. I wish you every happiness in what comes next but you will be missed.

planetnomad said...

I totally understand, but I do love your writing. Please consider just updating occasionally when you feel like it. And at least let us know when a book or story or article comes out!

edj

Mary Witzl said...

Thank you for all of these kind comments, everybody. It means a lot to me to know that people want to read what I write.

I'll be visiting your blogs when I can, and I will certainly post any significant writing developments. But most of all, I will be writing and rewriting non-stop -- and suffering withdrawal symptoms from writing HERE.

veach glines said...

You'll be missed.

But, maybe this is merely a sabbatical (I took a 20 month break 06-08).

So I'll check back in 2013 or so.

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Barbara Martin said...

Sometimes blogging can interfere with daily activities which has occurred with me the last year. My writing took a downslide when I posted too much, now I'm balancing my activities.

It's great you've found yourself busy...excellent feeling! All the best in your endeavours and your explanations of of teaching overseas was a treat.

Marian Perera said...

I'm going to miss your blog posts, Mary. I'll never forget the story of how you were out with your daughter when a Japanese lady took the opportunity to teach her child the word "Gaijin"... and your daughter's response to that.

But yeah, as writers we need to prioritize, and I hope you not only reach those flags but enjoy the journey immensely.

Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane said...

Don't disappear! But do write that book, and I wish you lots of success. Keep in touch, please1

Adrienne said...

Mary, as others have said, I understand completely but I will miss you! I wish you the best of luck, and I do hope our paths cross from time to time.

Lynne said...

I will miss you.

Anonymous said...

You have been missed... Pelin

Kappa no He said...

I'm just trying to make my way back and this was the first post I read. So sad but so excited about the news jobs and especially the writing. Can't wait to buy your books. ^^d

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rhondasaunders said...

Congrats and good luck, Mary!

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