I’ve been putting off this post for awhile, because it’s a bit of a bummer and because it’s the end of an era, but also because making it involves admitting that I cannot do All the Thing All the Time.
The Omikuji Project will be coming to an end in April.
It’s been five years since I decided to start writing short stories every month and sending them all over the world. It’s been an amazing, incredibly rewarding project. I’ve met people (and through meet-ups, people have met people) that I would not have met otherwise, I’ve been able to experiment and stretch my craft, I’ve had the tactile, primate pleasure of making something physical every month. (And often burning off my fingerprints with sealing wax.)
But it’s also been five years of writing a new, original story every single month. A story not published elsewhere, and of a not insignificant length. A story a month alongside the novels, poems, and other short fiction piled up on my plate. It’s a lot, a tremendous amount of work, both in the composition and the tactile, primate task that covers my dining room table once a month: the folding, sealing, stuffing, licking, and stamping of two hundred copies.
It’s gotten to be too much. Members will notice that the stories have been getting out late. I’m proud of the stories, still, but between touring and writing novels and trying to keep all my projects plus my head above water, a new story every month plus the labor of preparing them when I’m often not even in the country, is getting harder and harder.
I feel tremendously guilty about this, but I have to look out for my energy level in order to keep producing fiction for the foreseeable future. Burnout is a real thing and I don’t want to meet it in a dark alley. So I think this is a step I have to take. It may make room for more experiments down the line; it may just give me a rest, but either way, I think it’s time to draw the curtain with as much grace as possible.
Five years is an AMAZING run for a crowdfunded art project. The community created by the subscribers to Omikuji is warm and deep and invested, and I am so grateful to all of you for coming on this journey with me. So many of you are astonishingly talented artists in your own right, I’m honored by every person who opened that cream colored envelope every month and gave some of their time and energy to my stories. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
To preemptively answer some questions:
Most of our year-long subscriptions run out in April, as that was the date of the first story back in 2008. If yours runs out at another time, please contact me at my first name at gmail (NOT on Facebook, please) so we can work out a refund or a trade in kind. Monthly subscribers will simply have their subscription cancelled in April, no work is required on your part.
I will be doing another anthology of stories to accompany This Is My Letter to the World: Cycle One. I have not decided whether to put all the stories together into one or simply make a Cycle Two, nor have I decided whether to do it through Lulu again or seek out a small press to handle the collection. Once my February 1st novel deadline is under the belt, I’ll be able to sit down and make those choices. But there will be a print anthology purchasable by anyone.
Until April, I will continue making back-issues available. The site will be updated with pricing information on that score very shortly.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask in the comments or on whatever social media site you prefer.
Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, to everyone who has been a part of this project, however briefly or long. It has been an extraordinary experience, and I hope it has been for you as well. Most projects of any quality come to an end point, and though we have reached it, there are more and new and exciting things to come. Life is long and unpredictable; so is fiction.
Thank you for helping me to make a whole lot of it in a very unique way. You made possible, made real, every one of those stories. And that’s straight-up magic.