Farewell to LiveJournal

livejournal_logoI started blogging in March 2004 when my daughter learned to roll over by herself.  I was a new mom with a preemie who’d had colic.  In fact, I often quoted Marvin the Paranoid Android to myself: “Here I am, brain the size of a planet…” The first six months of her life were about survival and keeping my sanity.  I didn’t worry at all about trying to write.

But once she rolled over, I knew life was going to get better.  So many wonderful things were ahead of both of us.  I wanted to write them all down, save them, because — from the moment she was born — people kept warning me that it would all go too fast.  I wanted to bottle the magic.

At first my LiveJournal was meant only for my mom.  Then friends started to read it.  Then acquaintances.  Then readers of my Morbid Curiosity magazine.  Then people I didn’t even know.

It began to be overwhelming.  I’d never censored anything I was writing about, but some of it began to seem too honest once I knew strangers were reading it.  Once my daughter entered preschool, I began to feel paranoid about having her away from me.  I didn’t want to name her school or show her pictures or anything that might reveal too much about her, even as my husband teased that I’d have to change the name of my blog because it wasn’t Aurora’s Diary any more.

But finally after years of work, my writing began to take off.  I published the last couple of issues of Morbid Curiosity, did the last few release readings, and began to have the mental freedom to do my own work.  I sold stories to Cemetery Dance and City Slab. John Everson invited me to be in Sins of the Sirens.  Morbid Curiosity Cures the Blues sold to Scribner.

The blog filled up with my work.  That seemed natural at the time.  I tried my hand at blogging every day, but too often that meant putting in a placeholder rather than something I cared passionately about.

Then I got invited to blog at the Red Room and the LiveJournal started to suffer.  When I started Cemetery Travel, that was the nail in the coffin, so to speak.  I couldn’t keep 3 blogs running and write at the same time. I put the last LJ entry up on August 25, 2011 — and it was a reprint from Cemetery Travel and the Red Room.

I’ve left the LiveJournal up all this time as a record of what was, but after it got bombarded by spam comments, I turned off the commenting feature.  What I didn’t realize at the time was that the system would also eat all the comments already on the blog.  That’s been a devastating loss.

I hung on to the LJ for such a long time because I missed the community there.  There were people whose journals I read every day.  Whenever I had a question, they were there with answers.  Now everyone and his cat has a blog, scattered over a dozen platforms, and the community on LJ is gone.

Over the last week, I’ve been reading the old blogs over, cataloguing them, saving the best. I was amazed to find I’d written an even 900 entries over 7.5 years.  There’s a lot of fodder there for my projects going forward.

I know it’s true that nothing is ever really gone from the internet, but “While I Pondered Weak and Weary” is dead.

Long live Morbid is as Morbid Does.

About Loren Rhoads

I'm the author of The Dangerous Type, Kill By Numbers, and No More Heroes. I am also the co-author (with Brian Thomas) of the novel Lost Angels and the author of the essay collection Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel. In addition to blogging at CemeteryTravel.com, I blog about my morbid life at lorenrhoads.com.
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