June 16, 2024


One of my blogging heroes finally took his final bow and posted his farewell at his blog. I've read just about all of Don Travis's books from Dreamspinner Press, and I've enjoyed them. I refer to him as a blogging hero because he's stuck it out for years, blogging without fail once a week, demonstrating a dedication and discipline I honestly don't have when it comes to my online presence. I've bounced around so many different social media platforms, enjoying them for a short time before things got toxic beyond repair. Even my brief spell over at Mastodon -- really my favorite micro-blogging platform -- turned into more of a slog, especially when drama ended up permeating what were touted as safe spaces on the Fediverse. Where there's social media, there's drama. It's in the genes.

I pretty much mentioned in a couple of past posts and on my Book News page that my default setting has always been to sit back and listen in on conversations, engaging whenever I actually have something to say. I've never been one to share EVERYTHING, which is the requirement of social media use, and I hate having algorithms rub my nose into stuff I don't want to be a part of. I've also resurrected, deleted, and resurrected blogs over here over the years when things got too much elsewhere, and even then, I placed too much pressure on myself to "perform", which led to me ultimately giving up on blogging and deleting my personal space.

And it's because of that I look to other bloggers (especially writers) who, like Don Travis, kept the machine going on their own. They'd post like clockwork, and I wouldn't see them anywhere else online -- only on their blogs (which double as their sites). They got shit done, and they did it on their own terms. I wanted to grow up to be like them. 

But as you know, time catches up with us eventually, and even dedicated bloggers regardless of the size of their fan base will feel the weight of the years on their minds and their bodies. Heck, I keep joking about me not getting any younger when I talk about my writing schedule and publishing calendar and stuff, but nothing really grounds that home like loss. I've had my share recently though I'm not going to post about it here. Suffice it to say, I've reached that stage in life where mortality is slowly making itself felt in a variety of ways, and all we can do is adapt.

And what on earth does that have anything to do with a writer whom I've always admired and respected finally deciding to retire from the market? Well, I've come to expect consistent updates and new material from him given his track record, so seeing that farewell post was yet another reminder of how good things are bound to come to an end. Don Travis isn't the first writer to vanish from my radar, and he's not going to be the last. There have already been other writers I've known through the years who simply stopped writing and publishing, and I do hope they're doing well. 

I also shouldn't be depending too much on others for motivation, but one lasting influence he has on me is my final decision to settle down here -- on an ancient blogging platform so often derided by advocates of shinier, sleeker ones -- and blog as needed. Not to perform, no, but just to share what's gotten me so excited or happy in some way or another. Whether it's a book I'm working on or future books and what inspired them or entertainment that grabbed me -- it's all going to be in one safe space (for me), and I'm really glad I took the plunge and cut ties with all the popular places where the wild parties are happening. 

Anyway, I wish Don Travis well and publicly thank him for his books. And for showing me just how swimming against the currents by sticking to one place, however "archaic" and pretty much forgotten, can really be a great source of peace and calm online. He got shit done on his own terms, carving out his own modest corner in cyberspace, and I'm hoping to do the same with zero regrets.

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