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It will come as no surprise, I think, if I tell you that I've been struggling to justify the continued existence of this blog.

Struggling and losing.

I still read blogs. Still like them and understand the allure of writing one. I just seem to have lost the mojo myself.

When I began writing online in 1999, I wanted to craft stories from my life, from my observations, from my thoughts. Well, guess what? I do that now, in my fiction. Oh, my characters are not me, and the world they inhabit is not my life, but it all seems to draw from the same well.

When I began writing online, I wanted something else too, though I didn't know it at the time. I wanted validation. Readers. Responses. I wanted my words to mean something. And they did. I was nominated for awards, received some. Sometimes unexpectedly, from unusual sources. I loved my referrer logs, loved the me I saw reflected therein.

But now? I'm not who I was then. The blogosphere, too, has changed. I hate to let this slip away, dribble through my fingers like sand, merging back into online anonymity, so very many grains of worn-away pebbles tumbling with every pull and surge of the tide.

But blogs, even personal ones, have clumped into like-minded clusters and I can't figure out where or how I would fit. Mommy blogs? My kid is almost eight years old. No cute toddler stories here, and at a certain point, I believe, his life is his own and not mine to tell (except for the autism-pertinent bits, and at some point maybe not even those).

Writer blogs? I read some of them. Other times I wince and move on. How interesting is it to read about a writer's internal process when said writer isn't even published yet? And really, how many blogs giving tips on writing can – should – there be? And I've recently come across more than one wannabe writer blogging about the agent search, about rejection letters and hope and oh, it's painful. Not to mention raw. Not to mention perhaps a trifle inappropriate to post online.

Moving-across-the-country blogs? Well, there are, um, not so many of those. So yes, maybe so. And certainly there's a lot to document. Sounds good, anyway. But here's the truth of that: I haven't moved to a new city. I've moved to a town just outside my old home. And therefore many of the friends and all of the family I connect with, they're longstanding, with sometimes complex relationships and perhaps secrets and lives that aren't mine to share online.

So it comes back to that again. What's appropriate to share in a space like this? I think it depends wholly on who you are, what you need from this kind of forum, and how much of a support network you have in your offline (or at least off-blog) life. It's all about censors, about drawing a line in the sand (yes, that again). This I will tell, that I won't. John Scalzi is brilliant at this, he writes his thoughts rather than his feelings, opinions rather than his life, and what you get are his often incisive, nearly always witty editorials on politics and current events, mixed with some bits and pieces of the writer at work and occasional snippets – never too up-close, though – of his own life. Could I do that? Maybe I could, but I've never been much for editorials. They don't play to my strengths as a writer. I'm all about the sensory world, all about relationships. All about the intimate life as it unfolds. So what happens when that canvas feels too personal?

I think it's time to shut this blog down. Hard to say, hard to decide, hard to do. It – and you, my readers – have meant more to me than I can express without getting horribly cornball. And I do try to avoid that.

But it's time. If I come back, it'll probably be in a new configuration. A writer, maybe, telling of her first book tour on her eponymous blog. Or a photographer deciding that Flickr is not enough after all. Or, well, who knows, really?

But for now? It's time. I'm done.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference farewell:

» Writing vs Blogging from narrating kayoz
Tamar has closed up shop. This makes me a little sad, because I loved reading her posts - about her son, her parenting, about moving cross country, about her writing - but I sort of get it too. She has [Read More]


Tamar, I am so sorry you are stopping. I have been reading your words for so many years now, you are going to leave a real hole. But, I understand what you are saying. Please, can you keep a list of us so that if you do start writing again (or start that author tour) we can find out?

Farewell indeed.

Goodbye, and thanks for some beautiful writing. Send me an email when your book is published.

Wow. I'm sorry to hear that. I'll miss you.

Have a good life, you and your boy.

I'm sorry that you are leaving, but I understand the reasoning. Please keep me in mind when you post again (here and Hidden Laughter). Good luck, and have a good life.

So sorry to find out this will be your last posting. I have been reading you for so long, it is as if I know you. Please let me know when you go on a book tour or if you should decide to post on the internet again. I'll miss you.

You will be missed! I connected with you several years ago because your writing about Damien evoked so much memory about my early years with my oldest. They share so many similarities. I loved reading about your thoughtful advocacy for him, and who he is becoming. I'll miss that.
Not to brag, but to give a glimpse of the possibilities, my oldest is about to graduate from high school in the top 20 of his class, co-captain of his basketball team, and accepted at 7 of the 8 good colleges he applied to. His nickname is "awkward" but it was affectionately given. All 3 captains had to speak at their banquet last night. His speech was the most eloquent and shocked the room because he does not normally say much. he remains a bit anti-social, but he is living a life I never thought possible for him 15 years ago.

Tamar, I know you will have made the right decision for you and for your family about closing down the blog, but that doesn't mean I'm not sad to see you go. Thanks for all the beautiful words over the years.

Thank you and farewell.

Goodbye and good luck.

I just wanted to say thank you for "Hidden Laughter." Reading about Damian's progress gave me a reason to hope (or to dare to hope) at a time when I really needed a reason not to give up -- and for that, I'm more grateful than I can express.

NONONONONONONO!!!! O, I forgot, you have a kid and are thus immune to tantrums. Sigh...

Thank you for times gone. Good fortune in times to come.

My son is waiting diagnosis, but I know what will be said. Reading about Damien has been like someone describing my own boy. As I struggle with the reality of his eccentricities, your words have given me much needed comfort. I know that we all have lives outside of this box, but if you could just post an update every so often I would be very appreciative.
Thank you for all that you have given of yourself and your time.

Farewell, and good wishes! I've loved following Damian's journey with you. I understand your decision- I haven't rebuilt my dead diary-x journals for very similar reasons. However, I'm also sad to see you go-- my husband and I just returned "home" to the Ozarks from a four-year stint in Orlando, and it was cathartic to read about your happiness as we prepared to make our return migration. You will be missed.

Well, shit.

You're one of the first people who ever e-mailed me about my journal and one of the first people I ever read online. I'll definitely miss your writing and your presence in this space.

Take care of yourself.

I just found your journal again after a break of a few years, and I'm sorry to read that you're ending it. Best wishes for the future.

I never got to read you as much as I wanted to but have always been deeply interested in what you had to say.

I do hope that you keep me on your notify list as I would like to read what ever you publish -- about anything.


Denver doug

hi tamar my name is tamar too!i just love our name dont you ! wow these people loved you hope that you do well!!! you know i like to talk about things with people too so mabye if any one wanted to talk with me i would deffinately talk to them!!! i am 30 years old and have two boys. Tyler 11 and Connor 6 . well hope to here from one of your fans ! hi fans ....