If this seems sudden, let me explain.
I started Words with Randie so that I could get back to writing and own the work I put out. This is because after a while, the promise of exposure felt like bullshit to me and I was tired of making everyone else’s dream come true, for free. I’d write a piece for whoever and maybe get paid, and even worse, sometimes my voice would be so edited out that it wouldn’t read like my work at all.
So, Words with Randie was created and it felt right. And two years ago, I was prepared and ready to fight the good fight. Self promote and prove my consistency. The mission was to produce a well-written piece at least once a week and maintain a high functioning and mobile friendly site. My newsletters would also be the bomb and it would have all the works and it did. I completed the mission.
What I never said though was:
during that entire first year of writing for the blog, I was also writing a novel about a family curse. My first piece of fiction and the way I was honoring the young girl within myself. At last, I was becoming the professional writer and author I swore I’d be.
After letting beta readers take a stab at it, editing it again and again, I finally reached out to five literary agents. All of them rejected me in some form or fashion. They either thanked me and said it wasn’t for them, never responded, or responded with helpful feedback. Well, actually, only one agent did that for me.
We met at a conference and later emailed for months. She let her first reader look at the novel and I got some of the best feedback ever. Even though she didn’t sign me, I was thankful because she was the only one that gave me something I could fix.
She even said she’d like me to send her the book again, but only if I took into account what her first reader wanted more of. She was impressed, she said, by my skill and energy. The exchange ended with her saying,
“You are on your way, after all.”
and I was beside myself with joy and hope. Not because I believe she’ll eventually sign me, but because I received invaluable feedback that will improve my book even if I end up signed to someone else.
I was, in all, happy to oblige and I’m thankful to say I still talk to her. She even wrote my recommendation for a program I recently applied for.
But life and second drafts are a beast. What I needed to fix was necessary, but it’s hard to do. Good writing is hard to do and being close but so far away from accomplishing a goal is excruciating. Plus, the baby threw me for a loop. We were trying, yes. But, I didn’t expect my symptoms and I didn’t expect the pregnancy loss.
Something had to give, so:
After our first baby
I took a social media hiatus. One thing I thought I’d never do, and only because I thought a hiatus would be brand suicide. But I needed the break not just because I wasn’t okay, but because it gave me clarity.
The truth is:
It’s a rat race out here. Everybody wants to be seen, heard, and followed. There are so many blogs and there always will be, but I don’t want to be a professional blogger. That’s not the goal or the dream. The goal and dream is to write books, and sure I could do both, but keeping up with Words with Randie in the way that I do takes real time and energy. It’s good work that I produce for free, but now I’m in a space where not only do I want to be paid for my labor, but I deserve to be—we all do.
Essentially, I can be the person I said I always wanted to be.
And while I was away I realized that Words with Randie will not be how I make it, and it’s not the tool I want to use to make way for my plausible goals.
But, it has done what it was supposed to do and more.
It grew me and my writing up.
Words with Randie brought me close to people and it gave me a platform and helped me figure out what was important to me.
Still, it’s a crutch for me.
It’s the reason I give to not write and produce the actual work that could transform my life, but it’s time to prioritize.
Who knows what this book will do for me and my life. All I know though is that it’s special story and a good one. I write well and I’m always working on becoming a better writer and I’m ready to make space for that.
I’ve been afraid to accept this conclusion since I returned to social media because I haven’t wanted to look weak, inconsistent, and like someone who jumps from one thing to another. I also knew this would be hard and it is. I’m sad, y’all. I had a long long therapy session about it, and the one thing my therapist kept saying was: “It sounds like you know the answers to these questions already.”
It still doesn’t make it any easier. But, it’s time y’all. I wrote a piece last week and even though it was about books, it felt forced and that’s because it’s time to move on. I honestly believe that Words with Randie has served its purpose and the way to honor that is to go on and do the things it has taught me and given me the confidence to do.
It’s farewell, but
- The site isn’t going anywhere (at least for another year). It’ll still be here for anyone to come back and read the pieces I’ve written.
- I’ll be updating the site this summer to a Randie dot com one, where you can follow my professional writing endeavors.
- Think you’ll miss the transparency and vulnerability? Subscribe to the podcast I have with my husband. We started it for y’all. Over the years y’all have made it clear that pieces with him were some of your favorites and so we listened and created. It’s been great therapy for us and a lot of fun.
- You can find me on social media. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Thank y’all for everything, Wordies. Y’all have blessed me. It’s been great.