Image of Matthew Maichen, former editor-in-chief. He has short brown hair, a short beard and moustache, and is wearing a medium-blue button-down collared shirt, and black tie. He is smiling slightly with no teeth. The sun shines gently on him and background is green leaves.


I don’t want to write anything sappy.

That used to be my thing, honestly. I’d write the most emotional, most passionate, most sentimental stuff about pretty much any topic. I’d get over dramatic about everything. And I guess people vibed with it. Or at least, they did last time I checked. Which was a while ago. Which is part of the reason for this.

I’m at a few separate turning points right now. I have a job that demands everything of me. Intellectually, physically, emotionally, and I am still trying to be a writer. I’ve found some success, actually, under a pseudonym. The most success I’ve ever had. But my time and energy is so violently and continuously assaulted that I haven’t written anything new in months. At first, I could only find the energy to submit stories that I had already written. Then I stopped submitting. Right as I found my first taste of success. That’s not tragic. Most of my favorite pieces that got accepted have yet to come out. But if I wait long enough, it will be.

I need to free myself up. The food needs to get put on the table. The mortgage needs to get paid. I need to take stock of what in my life is essential, and I need to let go of the things that aren’t.

So I am leaving The Metaworker.

If you want to know how big of a deal this is to me, look at the timestamp on this post, and very carefully consider what eight years means. Think back to where you were eight years ago. I was doing this. My connection to The Metaworker pushed me into poetry open-mics looking for talent, and pushed me into writing and performing poetry myself. My connection to The Metaworker caused me to join a loose network of writer discords, which has been immensely beneficial. I (helped) run a podcast and (helped) make a website and (helped) manage a patreon. I led a group of people who were not making a cent off of this to work entirely out of passion. I continuously read short stories and poetry for eight years with very few breaks, from thousands of voices. I published hundreds of those voices. Easily over 1,000 of them, in fact. (I’m not counting the posts, sorry)

And that’s it. Part of the reason I don’t want this to be sappy is that I have no regrets. There are zero regrets about being here and building this, and now zero regrets about leaving. It was not a choice that came lightly, but once made I knew I needed it. I had months to think it over and reconsider, and I never did.

I want to thank everyone who has been involved from the beginning until now. Nicole got this started, Elena pushed to be a part of it, Marina and Darin were here for years and dedicated. Mel and Cerid are newer, but absolutely essential to this current version of the team. I wanted to be sure before I left that it wouldn’t mean the end. Because of the people who are here, it won’t be.

And yes, I’ll miss it. It was nice to be a publisher. It felt wonderful to give voices to people who needed to be heard. To be connected to the world of writing and publishing even when I, myself, was so obscure.

But that’s the problem I have to fix. I have my own book. A few books actually, because I am that kind of nut who sits in his room alone writing novels, finishing them, and thinking: “No, this isn’t good enough, I’ll write another.” It’s time to stop that. It’s time to actually put in the elbow grease and get something published and hopefully (arrogantly imagining) see it in bookstores.

For everyone who regularly reads this, thank you so much. I am so proud of the art that I have put out into the world. And now, rather than turning this into pages upon pages of reflection, I think I’ll end it here. Goodbye, everyone, and good luck forging your own story.

Oh. It’s sappy.

Oh well.

One thought on “Departure

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