By Maija "DiamonDie" Haavisto
To put it short, I'm stepping down from my "position" in Hugi. I will no longer be writing party reports or anything else for Hugi. You don't have to read any further unless you really want to.
The main reason for this is that for too long I've been a "hunter-gatherer" of responsibilities. If anyone has asked me to do anything that remotely interesting, I've said "yes", and often volunteered myself even without anyone asking. I haven't been one to ever quit projects, I have only collected more of them, as some sort of a display of my achievements.
As a result I've ended up with way too many responsibilities that have been fun in the beginning, but after many years have turned into chores I don't really feel like doing. I'm disabled and I've had to admit to myself that I simply can't do everything I would like to do, or everything other people would like me to do.
Especially party reports have been quite a chore. As you know my reports have been very long, thorough and detailed (I think the longest was over 40k!), which has required me to spend too much time at parties sitting in front of my laptop, even writing during compos (because I am a perfectionist, but have a crappy memory).
Writing is not only a hobby for me, it has been my job since I was 16 and started working as a freelance journalist. I've been on a sick leave for over two years now - not getting a penny due to Finnish authorities breaking the law, alas - but I have been able to write much more since early 2008.
At the moment I'm working for two online magazines, an international generic interest one (which even allows me to write an occasional article about the demoscene) and a Finnish music magazine, trying to scour more freelance assignments in Finland and abroad, editing my fourth novel manuscript, working on an essay collection and some short stories and outlining and researching my fifth novel. Earlier this year I published my second medical textbook.
As you probably figured out I've got my hands more than full of writing projects even without Hugi. To keep me focused on priorities I've decided not to pursue writing something unless it a) pays me money b) can significantly help other people (like most of my medical writing) c) is likely to either improve my writing skills or further my career or d) is just plain fun. I don't think Hugi fills any of these criteria for me any more, sadly.
I also feel like I have run out of ideas concerning new content for Hugi. I'm no longer as actively involved with the scene as I once was, and even if I was more active I'm not sure if I would still have more inspiration. I admit that I've probably written some articles that were silly or forced in the past, but you'll no longer have to put up with my ramblings, besides this one.
Just to make it clear, I'm not "quitting the scene" nor do I want to stir up any "drama". This is something I've been thinking of for quite a while, ever since I started to seriously and systematically reduce "clutter" in my life about a year ago. I figured that not explaining anything was more likely to stir up stuff than at least trying to explain why I left, even though writing this "goodbye letter" is already making things a bit more dramatic than I'd wish to.
If you still want to read my writing, you can head to my website or the online magazine I write for in English.
<insert a cheesy sine scroller with greetings and stuff>
So long and thanks for all the fish!