Every writer has a certain amount of "writing time" in their lives. It's the time that we fit in between work, school, friends, family, church, and other important activities (i.e. Netflix). In our writing time, we have a certain amount of words to spend, and we have to choose where to spend them. I have gladly spent a lot of words on this blog. Over the past few months, I have clearly spent very few words on this blog. During that time I have been thinking about where this blog belongs in my writing life.
I love A Splash of Ink, and I love how the blogging community has shaped me as a writer. When I was a teenager blogging was so important because it connected me to other people who were doing what I was doing: writing. I was very insecure in my identity as a writer. Over my university career, I have had a lot of great people invest in my writing. People have told that I have something of value, which as much as I hate to admit it, is important to me. All of these kind words have developed my confidence in my work and the legitimacy of pursuing writing.
That brings us to now, and my thoughts on blogging. I have decided to take a semi-permanent break from A Splash of Ink. I am working on my fourth year of university and life is busy. I've been forced to make certain activities priorities. The blog is one of those activities that had to take a back-burner at this stage in my life. It doesn't mean that I'll never blog again. Perhaps I will return to SOI (it will stay online), or perhaps I'll start a new blog. I don't know what the future holds when I finish my degree. But for now, I have to take a break in order to spend time working on long-term writing goals.
I decided that I wanted to pour 100% of my "writing time" into my long project and the short fiction that I have been working on. I am working on submitting to literary journals and entering contests. Eventually, when the series of vignettes are finished, I will query them for publication. I have been beginning to work on many of these goals in the months that I have been away, but I thought it was time to to give proper closure to this blog.
Looking Forward (My Real Name):
Taking a break from A Splash of Ink is not a negative moment. It is not giving up on a teenage dream It is simply the ending of a season in my writing life. The new season that I'm entering is so promising. For the first time, I have a real-life writing network. I host a writing circle at my apartment each month, and my work is starting to be recognized.
I am still writing.
However, I am not publishing under the name "Sunny Smith". I'm sure it will surprise no one that "Sunny Smith" was a pseudonym that I made up for the blogging world. It was a fun persona that I held for many years. Using a pseudonym allowed me to explore my writing self without the (mostly imagined) judgement from anyone who knew me in real life. Now that I am finally beginning to be comfortable with naming myself as a writer, my two worlds are blending together. I feel like it's finally time to use my real name: Jenna Hazzard.
Under the name Jenna Hazzard, I have been the runner-up/honourable mention in a few local writing competitions. And most excitingly, I was a runner-up for the Elle Canada personal essay competition. My piece was published online here.
I decided to create a Twitter account with my real name and my real picture. This is going to be my social media presence as Jenna Hazzard the writer. If you wish to keep in touch, you can feel free to follow me here @jenna_hazzard . I am going to be following everyone (and by extension your lovely blogs) on Twitter that I followed with my "Sunny Smith" account. I don't want to drop of the face of the Earth, but I do want to transition to a new stage in my writing life.
And finally, it wouldn't be right to end this post without a huge thank-you to everyone who supported A Splash of Ink over the years. And I'd like to give a special thank you to those of you who were kind enough to wonder where I was on my long break. This would not have been as fun and as encouraging to my writing without all of you in it.
All the best!