This last weekend, I resigned as editor-in-chief of [adjective][species], a site that I founded in 2011 to explore the furry fandom and the what it means to call oneself a furry. I did so in a brief and considered post - I hardly wanted to clutter up the site that I worked so hard on with a big tearful goodbye or anything - but I realize that this was perhaps too little for people to hang their hats on (or fursuit heads, as the case may be). I still won’t clutter up [a][s] any, but this site is all my own, so I get to write whatever I want, for better or for worse, without fear of taking up too much space.
I’m a product of my upbringing, no one can deny that. I was brought up in a school system that enshrined the five-paragraph essay as the pinnacle of student authorship. The structure, for those unaccustomed to the form, is a thesis paragraph, three supporting points, and a conclusion. I think that this wound up hurting me more in the long run than the teachers realized, because it forced me to be far briefer than I needed to be as I progressed through school and page/word counts were enforced, rather than paragraph counts.
All the same, I still think in hendiatris. I still come up with three points which I can use to support an overarching thesis, and that’s no different now than it was in grade school. So, without further ado, here are my three supporting reasons for what became the conclusion of me leaving behind my editorship.
We’re all busy folk here within the fandom. Everything that we do creates a list of demands on us. The most obvious one is for time, of course, but all of the things we do make demands on our intellect, on our emotions, on how much we can do within a day. I often fall back on analogies to help explain the way that this feels from the inside. A common one for me is to talk about emotion in terms of bandwidth. You can only download so much data over the internet at once, limited by how much bandwidth you have, and similarly, there’s only so much you can bear emotionally before things start to clog up and feel bad.
I have a lot going on in my life, just as everyone does. I have three partners, two dogs, two houses, and a job. I struggle with chronic depression and anxiety, and am in the early stages of transitioning. I have as much in the way of hopes and dreams, fears and worries as anyone else out there, and I just couldn’t, in good conscience, pretend to be a good editor for [a][s].
And I wasn’t. I wasn’t a good editor at all. I left submission emails hanging, I deferred most everything to JM, and when I had an opinion on a post, I kept it to myself. I was unable to let my editorial voice show through, and that showed on the site, just as my lack of attention showed.
This brings me to the second reason for stepping down.
Directions shift. They really do. My direction shifted quite a bit in the four years that I was editor. I started the site as a jokey attempt at some self-referential humor within the furry fandom. I think I did a pretty good job of it, too! Over time, that moved on to a dissection of what it meant that we were a fandom with no canon. As the site picked up steam, it added some flavor of reviews, of commentary on current events, and of writing more about the outside world.
Yet I was moving in a different direction. I started hunting for a new job. I started focusing on fiction. I was growing more and more introspective about my role within furry, and my posts became more and more personal until they finally just wound up as editorials: bits of writing about my experiences not necessarily connected to the direction the site was going. This was most evident in the more recent posts on the site, which stirred up controversy. Rightfully so, as I can’t say that I agree with many of the recent ones in the slightest.
However, I was so distant as to feel as though I couldn’t find my way back in order to make myself a part of it. The direction of [a][s] had shifted to something I didn’t recognize, and I had become something completely unrecognizable to [a][s] and its readership.
In the end, though, I feel like working as editor-in-chief for the blog was very much a positive experience. The final reason for stepping down is that I think I got to say what I wanted to say, both through my own articles and through my editorial vision. Sticking around longer would be prolonging a conversation that had ended. With that in mind, it felt more comfortable to let the site transition and grow in the ways that it wanted to transition and grow, while I went my own direction.
It’s alright to say goodbye, when the time comes. The last four years were fantastic, a blur of surveys and writing and pictures of RandomWolf suggestively hugging a candle. It’s like I said, though: it’s the end of an era. It’s not the end of everything, it’s just the end of my part in it as editor.
As I mentioned, I may write a bit more here and there, and I’ll still stay on as technical advisor, both for [a][s] and for the Furry Poll. I’ll always be the datavix, and I’ll never stop writing. I wish all of the other [a][s]-ians all the best. I’ll be here, cheering you on, and working on my own projects. Keep an eye out for more good stuff!