On Weariness · 5:25pm
A little over two years ago—first with the PFA, then with the Vault—I took the arguably ridiculous tack of turning a fun hobby (reading ponyfic) into a part-time job. In doing so I built myself a reputation and a niche in the fandom that I've thoroughly enjoyed, made friends I won't soon forget, and in general had a blast.
Yet I'm tired. I'm tired of the massive spreadsheets tracking stories I have or haven't read, of spending hours or days building ebooks, of late night last-minute scrambles to put posts together when I hadn't had time earlier in the week. Tired of devoting every last moment of my not consequential free time to my hobby-turned-career. And in a few months, I really won't have time at all, once I return to school to finish my degree.
Sometime this midsummer—I don't yet have a precise date nailed down, but should soon and will let you know—the Vault will cease to update. To continue the metaphor I have in my mind, the large blast-proof door will swing shut and spin sealed, with over 100 stories inside for near-eternal safekeeping. Of course, it's a weak metaphor in the end, because anyone can waltz on in and grab an ebook or interview whenever they feel like it: the site will of course remain up in perpetuity, eventually transitioning to something I host myself so it's no longer dependent on third-party servers and services.
Others are welcome to take inspiration from the Vault, and do their own author interviews or what-have-you on their own sites, but—selfishly, perhaps—I'm not interested in handing the Vault off to anyone else. I've politely declined offers of help before, and my reasons haven't changed: the Vault is and has been a highly personal project, and it would be... painful to see someone else run it.
By way of thanks and apology to those who've been so happy to follow the Vault, I do have a special surprise planned for the final few posts. And as I've planned since the Vault's inception, the very last post will be me interviewing myself. Answering the questions I've foisted on so many authors seems a fitting end.
To those authors who were generous enough with their time to spend hours, days, weeks answering my interview questions, and putting up with me nitpicking my way through your punctuation and grammar, you have my profound thanks. Obviously, the Vault wouldn't exist without you. To those authors who have always hoped to receive a message from me and never did, you have my profound apologies. Even in the Vault's prime, I couldn't keep up with you; the absence of an invitation in your inbox should not correlate in your mind with an absence of skill or worthiness on your part, but an absence of time on mine.
Finally, let me make it clear that I myself am not "quitting the fandom" or anything like that. I'll still be reading fanfic daily, and maybe even have time now to work on my own stories; small consolation, I'm sure. I also intend to keep doing interviews here at FIMFic, and honestly releasing myself from the Vault's format and requirements will let me have a little more fun with that, which hopefully means you all will have a little more fun with that too.
So... yeah. Writing this post has sort of felt like a confession, and making it public is something of a load off. I hope no one's too upset, and if you are, well, I'm sorry. (Not too sorry, mind; I value my personal sanity over your rustled jimmies.)
See you Friday, and happy reading!