Friday, 26 July 2013

'Honeymoon' Wrap Up...and...That's All, Folks!

Hi, all ye who come by!

Firstly, a brief wrap up of the July Honeymoon Challenge. Let me just simply say, all your stories were unique, all entertaining, all relished.

It was wonderful to welcome Nancy Williams back after a long hiatus from RFW, along with Madeleine who has not posted for what seems absolute ages. Linda, Nilanjana and Sally have been regulars for sometime, along with Yolanda and Charmaine who were both absent this month. I thank you for your loyalty to RFW. Donna and Anna nearly didn't post, but both slipped in under the wire.

So, from the above, you'll notice a problem...not many posted and this was Donna's and my last chance for RFW -- both agreed if we had low figures again, we were not going to put ourselves through the stress any longer -- and it is stressful waiting for entries each month, hoping for a good turnout, looking forward to many good reads, but, alas...

This has been brewing for some time. For several reasons, foremost being the lack of participation, RFW is closing down..

Donna and I have tossed up this possibility for some time, especially when our challenges have reached all-time lows. We always said: 'Let's give it till next month,' then one of us would be feeling upbeat, and convince the other to keep going, month after month. Since January, we have averaged sign-ups of 11. The last 2 challenges didn't even make double figures, even for June Wedding, which was a prize post. We know the web is wickedly busy, there are so many blogfests/memes/challenges out there demanding attention.

We spent lots of time jazzing up the blog recently, spent lots of time discussing forward plans, but all to no avail. Few were impressed...or visiting our Friday posts. (A warm thanks for those who did comment!)

So, reluctantly, after quite a long run, we are closing our doors, through which many authors, writers, poets, non-fiction writers have passed. We know at times we were used to publicise books, publicise blogs, publicise individuals...but we were also used for one of our main aims - to help writers improve their writing. Those loyal to RFW often said they believed their writing had improved and it does when you push yourself to write to a prompt, then edit to a word count and take on board feedback.

So, thank you to all those who've made RFW what it was -- a quite unique little online writing community that, except occasionally, never met the potential its hosts imagined for it.

(It is crazy to see up to 2324 people viewing each challenge sign up, but for some reason, never participating!)

We especially warmly thank those who have been loyal these last few months  - Nilanjana's latest post was sent in from the Himalayas. Now if only everyone was so keen! We appreciate Nila prioritising RFW! Such a small group needed everyone to post each month to keep it operational.

RFW started with weekly posts of 400 words, then to fortnightly posts, then to monthly posts of 1,000 words which was a less onerous commitment, but, alas, that didn't work either! Without a goodly number of writers prioritising one Friday per month to post for us, RFW cannot continue to operate -Donna and I can no longer justify the huge time drain of maintaining the blog and the challenges.

We wish you all well. I'm sure we'll both support your blogs as we have done in the past, (not just at RFW times). We will watch your progress with interest and will clap along in the wings as you reach your writing goals. We hope you will visit our blogs from time to time and say hello.

I thank Francine Howarth for helping me set up RFW (she did all the techno stuff at the start up) and Donna Hole for her valued input for the past year (she's not into techno stuff, but she was great in forward planning and critiquing). My job would have been impossible without both of these wonderful authors.

I will leave the site open for the time being, so you can have your say. I'm not ready to let go just yet...maybe you have some positive ideas which would allow RFW to continue... But meanwhile,  I will continue to use the left side bar to see what RFWers are posting and the right hand side bar to see where to send my stories. I urge you to use these too and please visit each other often.

For me, I will miss RFW deeply...heck, I've already got a Vacation story zooming around in my head...now what will I do with it? That's the most treasured thing I'll take away from RFW -- I wrote genres I'd never have attempted otherwise. I believe my writing has improved and that is invaluable. How about you?

Thank you one and all!

R.I.P. RomanticFridayWriters -- May 2011 - July 2013.


27 comments:

  1. What a shame! Still, I'm grateful to have found RFW - thanks to you Denise, and occasionally participating in your contests in a genre I am not at all used to. It has helped me think outside the box and develop my writing further. I guess all projects have a lifespan, and I know you gals will continue to rock the blog world with your own blogs.
    Keep posting those travel stories, I'm almost tempted to plan a trip!

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    1. Denise had a great idea with this blog Charmaine, and I'm happy I found it too. I enjoyed your posts.

      ....dhole

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  2. So sorry to hear this but I do understand. I just wish my health issues hadn't interfered so much. I think we should still participate in writing material for blog hops in support of each other. I don't have a lot of time but if you plan one and let me know I'll do my best. I grew tremendously as a writer and when self doubt threatened me RFW was there with encouragement.
    Love you all.
    Nancy

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    1. Nancy you have given me an idea...thanks x

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    2. I'm glad you are feeling well enough to re-join the blogs sometimes Nancy. It has been a pleasure reading your excerpts, and we will keep in touch through our personal blogs.

      .......dhole

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  3. Very sorry to hear this! I have been part of RFW since a year, and I am going to miss it. Thank you for creating such a supportive writing community. I have enjoyed writing to each prompt and have tried new experiments in both poetry and other types of writing here. In case you plan anything similar, do please let me know.

    Warmest always,
    Nilanjana

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    1. It has been an enjoyable year Nila. I enjoyed watching you experiment with and create both prose and poetry. Hopefully there will be many submissions in your future :)

      ......dhole

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  4. I too am saddened by this and hope things change. Flash fiction challenges are a great tool for any writer, and Denise and Donna made this fun and interesting each time. I shall miss it! Good luck to all, and please keep in touch!

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    1. I came to a new appreciation of flash fiction here at RFW too Yolanda. Thanks for joining us :)

      ......dhole

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  5. I am sad at our loss today. This hurts my heart, but is even more devastating for Denise as RFW's founder.

    I have grown so much as an author for joining this site. When Denise first invited me to be a member - sometime participant - I laughed because I never considered myself a "romance" writer. But Denise showed me the difference between romantic and romance, although I must say I have more pure romance moments now. I am happy to have stretched my comfort zone to meet so many of the challenges.

    RFW has been one of the best writing experiences in my writing career. I have learned much from all the participants, and have gained many valued friendships. You have all supported me, my writing, and my dreams of interacting with talented writers on the same journey as myself.

    Denise, thank you for the opportunity for growth as a person, and as a writer. I cherish every moment I had at this site, and through our partnership and friendship.

    I love you all, and will visit and participate in your events.

    ......dhole

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  6. Obviously for selfish reasons I am very disappointed that RFW is closing but I totally understand the reasoning behind it. I am so grateful for the opportunity you gave me and the confidence you inspired in me from your positive feedback. It was also great to meet people from different walks of life.

    I would like to say a huge thank you to you both for all the hard work that you two have put in behind the scenes and wish you both well in any future ventures.

    I already follow both your blogs so will keep in touch that way. Hugs to you both. Sally

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    1. I will miss the monthly writings too Sally, but I will be by your blog to continue reading your postings.

      ......dhole

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  7. Sad to hear this news! I was hoping to submit at some point. I nearly posted for the honeymoon. I had a perfect story written, but still needed some work so close to the deadline. I even gave your blog a shout out on my previous post for being a link of interest! All the best!

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    1. We would have enjoyed your writing submission Jacqueline. We had such a variety for Honeymoon :)

      ......dhole

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  8. Who knows, maybe you gave up too soon!

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  9. I'm sorry to see RFW go down but I understand how difficult it is to put forth more effort with low participation. There are so many things vying for attention. Perhaps you would consider doing a collaborative blog with committed writers in the future--one that would take some of the pressure off of you and share the burden of providing content, etc. Stay in touch.

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    1. The blogs are full of interesting events Linda; so much to have fun with, so little time to write for it all. We will still keep in touch through the blogs.

      ......dhole

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  10. Sorry to hear. I wasn't a very active member but I did enjoy the times I was able to post for the blog hop, including the one time I used my newer blog with my romance pen name. Yeah, the m/m entry from wordpress was me. ;-) I will miss the RFW and will have to keep up with you all on your other blogs. Good luck with your writing endeavors.

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    1. I remember seeing your m/m post Dawn! It does appear your writing has found an audience. I am pleased for you. I've missed your posts, but actual writing is a priority.

      ......dhole

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  11. Oh my Denise; the side-bar content is showing again! Whatever you did must have worked. I hope my issues clear up soo too!

    .......dhole

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  12. Thank you for your kind, supportive words everybody! I have emailed you all with my latest brainwave and will look forward to seeing what you think. I am very open to your suggestions -- I want us to continue as a supportive writing community.

    Denise

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  13. And bear with me as I make changes to the blog.

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  14. Oh bless you and thank you for the opportunity to flex my romantic writing muscles. Your hard work has been MUCH appreciated by me for one. Yes seeing the viewer figures against the commenters and contributors can be quite puzzling. Many people like to read but not join in, it seems. Glad RFW blog will remain. All the best to you Denise, Donna and of course Francine. x

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  15. Hi, Denise and Donna,

    Haven't received the update, Denise! I know I had missed the last two, but I was there for a while... at least six or so posts. I found out about this at Donna's blog Denise, and I was floored. I understand, of course. I NEVER have enough time. BUT, if it weren't for the RFW, I never would have discovered my hidden talent. I created some really wonderful work from your prompts and I WILL NEVER forget it! I even wrote a partial novella from them, as you know. Which now, without you forcing me with your great prompts, I may never finish. The last two with weddings and honeymoons didn't really fit with my other posts, perhaps that's why I had a hard time trying to figure out how to do them.

    Anyway. Let me know what you have in mind. THANKS again for ALWAYS giving your support and blog love. You ladies are VERY SPECIAL to me....

    Hugs,

    Michael

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  16. Hi,
    I am already following the new blog.
    See you there!
    Anna

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  17. I am your regular reader and I really appreciate your work. Keep blogging.

    Tamborine mountain

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