This may be the most important post I’ll ever write.

I’m going to be honest with you guys. I have not been feeling well lately. And this isn’t because I’m sick.

I’ve been stressed. So incredibly stressed. It’s not because of finals. Or writing. Music. Any of my hobbies.

I’m stressed because of this website.

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a long time. You see, for months I’ve been slightly inactive on Teen Authors Journal. I stopped posting every Tuesday like I used to. I made the occasional post only because I’ve felt obligated to. Not because I felt the inspiration to share my thoughts.

Teen Authors Journal has changed me in so many ways. This website has shaped a pathway for my career. It taught me what I love. Showed me what dedication is. Gave me a gratitude for supportive friendships. But it’s also what caused me to get only four hours of sleep for my entire eighth grade year of school. It’s what led me to feeling like I was obligated to be productive all the time. It led me to constantly being busy. Constantly thinking there’s always something I need to be working on.

Teen Authors Journal is a great resource for other writers.

Teen Authors Journal is my passion.

Teen Authors Journal will look great on my college application.

These thoughts always run through my mind, and it brings me so much stress. This website has become a job to me. It’s not a playful hobby anymore. I’ve come onto this website, forcing myself to interact with others only because I’m the founder of this place and I feel the obligation to be active on it. I’ve had to force myself to update and recode parts of the site, trying to make it better with each passing day. I’m not going to lie to you guys. Running this site drains me. It’s gotten to the point where I’m constantly thinking about TAJ, and it makes me feel like I have a giant weight on my shoulders.

I love writing. It’s my passion. And I wanted to share it with others, to connect with kids my age who feel the same way, and to hone my own skills. I’ve done that, but for some reason, I don’t feel satisfied.

So that’s enough blabbering. Let me get to the large point:

I don’t know the future of Teen Authors Journal.

There. I said it. The sentence I’ve been dreading to tell you all for months. This announcement has been shoved to the back of my mind for such a long time, and it wasn’t until tonight when I felt the urge to finally spread it.

Here’s the thing. Three years from now, I’ll be eighteen and ready to move onto college. It’s only a matter of time before I start really considering what to do with this website, and I think this conversation was bound to come up eventually.

The amount of money spent on this website and the amount of hours poured into it will definitely not be wasted. This website changed my life. It taught me so many values and skills, and I’ve made amazing friends along the way. But nothing lasts forever. I don’t want to lie to all of you, so let me tell you the blunt truth. There are four different paths Teen Authors Journal can take from now:

  1. I decide to keep it until I graduate high school, at which point I later decide what to do with it.
  2. I sell it to someone else, who will have full rights of the website and the choice for its future.
  3. I pass it onto another teen writer who will be able to continue from where I leave off.
  4. I shut the website down completely.

At the moment, I don’t know which one of these paths I may take. If the stress settles back, I may be perfectly fine keeping it for a few more years. However, at the current level of stress it is bringing me, I’m not sure I can handle it much longer.

So before I ask you guys the big question, let me ask you this: If I were to disappear from Teen Authors Journal, would you still use this site? Would you come here to interact with others, write posts, etc.? Or would the website simply sit here, rot, and die off?

I’m asking this because I constantly feel the obligation to come here and keep the fire going. This brings me a lot of stress, and I feel like if the website will still be used, I’d be able to sit back for the next few years and keep running it. I may come on once in a while, but not as often as now. And I want to know how you all feel about this in order to help aid this decision.

Now, for the big question:

What do you think about this?

I want to know how each of you feels about this site. After all, this website isn’t just about me. I’m running this, but many of you have posts on this site. To me, that makes your decision just as important as mine. So I want to know your honest opinions about this news. How does this make you feel?

Please let me know if you would be interested in inheriting Teen Authors Journal, or knows someone who would. At the moment I am open to any opportunities and suggestions.

In the meantime, do not worry! I will not shut down Teen Authors Journal randomly without notice. You don’t need to go around backing up all of your blog posts. I will let all of you know the final decision when the time comes. For now, just live on this site like usual.

Also, I would like to personally thank @irma, who gave me some advice and helped me understand what it is I need. I would also like to thank all of you for making Teen Authors Journal such a special place for me. You helped me keep going. So thank you. I love you guys.

Excited to hear your thoughts,
Melissa Torrefranca

Recommended1 recommendationPublished in Writing Advice

Melissa Torrefranca

Hello writers of the world! I'm Melissa, the founder / designer of Teen Authors Journal. Although I create blog posts every Tuesday at 4 p.m. (Pacific Time), I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing! I'd love to learn more about all of you, so please don't hesitate to shoot me a message! 🙂

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  • Although I haven’t been on for a while, I’ve been thinking about this site a lot lately. It has lead me toward many things, including finding friends, resources, and giving me encouragement to keep going. I had the bravery to start my own blog from the small posts I added to the site, and it also have me a sense of humility to know that I’m not the only one who can write well as a teen :P. Thank you so much for starting this site, Melissa. I really think it’s incredibly important to every member of it. I know there are many young authors here who feel the same way: we’ll keep it running 😉 I remember thinking when I first started how I could barely post once every month, and you kept pumping out posts and updates like no tomorrow…you’ve been so passionate and transparent about your writing, it always urged me to just keep swimming, if you know what I mean… I really urge to you find a trusted heir. I would hate to see such an amazing community disappear.
    I think you’ve impacted young authors more than you’ve realized…enjoy your creation. You did a spectacular job.

  • I’m so glad to hear you’re leaning toward handing it over to another writer. That’s what I would encourage you to do. I really enjoyed my active time on here and still keep up/follow several of the people I met here.

    Just like everyone else said, the decision is up to you and we all totally understand and appreciate everything you’ve done. No one’s superhuman but you come pretty darn close! You’ve done amazing things and you’re going to keep doing them hopefully without stressing yourself as much. I think we all know what that’s like in some ways and we appreciate the sacrifices you’ve made for all of us.

    Despite my lack of interaction since the fall, I still enjoy lurking in the shadows and admiring what you’ve created. I’m glad I could be a part of it. 🙂 Prayers for the decision-making! <3

  • I personally think passing it on to another writer is a good idea. But even if you decide to continue this website, I don’t think anyone will ever forget the wonderful community you made for us all: A place where we can talk to others who have the same passions of us, where we can express our dreams and struggles without fear of being treated “weird” or “different.”

    Whatever you decide to do, I’m glad you created Teen Authors Journal. 🙂

  • Do what you need to do and we are gonna be with you 1000000000%.
    It sure must be overwhelming to run that kind a site I always admire you for that.
    Melissa, you have so much talent. I don’t worry a but about your future because I know you are gonna do great things, even if it’s not on TAJ. What you did with this website is a great experience that will serve you for the rest of your life. You made a platform to help writers like us who sometimes have trouble finding inspiration, or time to write, etc.
    Passing on to another person is the best idea, I think.

  • I completely understand what your going through. As a 16 almost 17 year old with only one more year of high school to survive, stress and overworking is not foreign to me. This site has provided me with valuable resources and advice, and has inspired me to keep writing when school, and health, and many other problems shot me down. I don’t what your years in high school to be as hard as mine. It’s supposed to be a time when you cherish what you love and figure out what you want to do with you life. If leading this website is causing more stress then joy, don’t do it. Let someone else take it off your hands. It will still be around for the teen writers to love, and you will have time to enjoy doing what you love. Whatever you chose, we will support.

  • Like so many other writers on here, this site helped me jump-start my career and find something I really love to do. However, I know that this can be a ton of work for you, Mel. I speak for everyone when I say that no one ever wants you to feel obligated to write your posts or keep up the website. You should do this because you want to be doing it. If your sanity results from passing it on or selling it or shutting it down, we’ll support you. That being said, I truly love it here. 🙂

  • This blog has inspired me.
    This blog is a community of writers that inspire and build each other up.
    You’ve made a great thing, Mel.
    You have helped me to do greater things with my writing, and I know I’m not the only one.
    Your words inspired other words, which inspired more words. You have built this-I know I’ve already said this word- this tight knit community of writers that craft their words into beautiful colours and shapes and emotions.

    What I’m trying to say is, I don’t think it would be the end of the world if you stepped away. I don’t think this place has to exist solely on your shoulders, I think that there are other-senior writers, if you will- here, that contribute to this blog.
    This place has a wealth of golden little tidbits of writing advice, and mistakes, and beautiful, beautiful words from everyone.
    I’ll stop talking now. I’m not trying to say that your making a mistake, your not. But it would not be the end of the world if you stepped away.

  • You don’t need to feel obligated Mel!
    Teen Authors Journal is an incredible place, and I’ve had so many valuable conversations with other passionate writers here. You’ve done that. You’ve built that. And even if you step back now and leave it alone, teen authors journal will still be that.
    Even if you’re not on here all the time Mel, other people will be. And even if you don’t improve and re-code it, this website can still be great! It doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.

    All professional websites have people who are in charge of different areas: products, coding, social, marketing, design and a CEO. Maybe you could split up the website into these different jobs, and give one each to separate teens who want to join the team. You could still remain in charge if you wanted too, but you could step back. Or you could let someone else be in charge. Either way, the job is then no longer only on any one person’s shoulders: that would stress anyone out!

    No matter what you do: Don’t feel like you always have to be here. Don’t feel like you have to post every week. Don’t feel like you have to post every month even! It’s not all or nothing Mel.

    Also, I think you should talk to your parents about this. It’s a pretty big decision, and whenever it comes to big decisions, family support and advice is always best. That’s what I would do.

    Best of luck!

  • It’s amazing to see what you’ve done with this website. Your work is absolutely inspiring. From my experience, and from what I see in the comments, this website has obviously made an impact. You don’t need to keep it up if it’s making you stressed out, but know that it was worth it when you did. I’d recommend passing it onto another teen to run it.

  • Mel, TJA is so important to me, everyone understands me and its so amazing to see people caring about my writing as you and other members of TAJ. Of course i would still us this site if you were to disappear, this site is one of the best things to happen to me this year!

  • Mel, this site has been a wonderful part of my life, as I know it has been for the rest of us who use it. That being said, this is your site, and you can choose what to do with it. I would offer to take over TAJ, but like you, I’m a busy person with a lot on her plate. I’ve spent two years pulling teeth to get a literary journal published at my school, so I totally understand how running a site like this can be stressful. But I think you should know that it’s become bigger than just you. It’s gone from a passion project to a true community of teenagers who all come here for the same thing, and someone in this mix would 110% be willing to keep it going if you leave.
    Regardless of what you do with the site, though, thank you for making it and giving us all the chance to find each other here. It means a lot <3

  • Dear Mel
    What did for all of us aspiring writers is one of the most incredible kindest things that we could all ever as for

    You gave me a site were I can share my love fity passion and interact with others who have the same passion as me

    However if you are feeling stress
    I would want you to feel better by shutting down the site (you shouldn’t feel obligated to post just because your the author you should do out of fun, out of inspiration),
    Many that a hiatus from TAJ, leave the site come bac aknd if you still feel the same way shut it down
    If you do I will miss this site and you but I know it’s for the best
    Just follow your heart MotherHen 💕🤗🙏🏾

    Because the site wouldn’t be the same without you and if you leave the site will leave to
    We stand with you ✊✊✊

    • Awww, Paris!! Thank you so much! Your comment really means a lot to me. I’m so glad Teen Authors Journal isn’t only important to me. It’s been a pleasure having you here. Let’s see where this website goes next…thank you for your support in this process!

  • Melissa, when I first joined this site, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really much of a writer. I joined because I was looking for a clique- a group I fit into, somewhere I really thought I belonged. I joined this site, and I found more. I found a purpose, a skill I could get better at, improve on and yes, enjoy. Several times, the TAJ community supported me with my writing, and you’re at the root of it.

    If TAJ has to end, it was not in vain. This website has done amazing things. It’s let many people improve their craft, find a community- even if it wasn’t the purpose, it once helped a lonely 13 year old kid find a place where he fit in.

    In conclusion, this is your site. Here on TAJ we’re all your friends, and I think we all feel that if this site had become a burden, you should be free of it. We want you to be in charge here.
    As a person who comes to this site almost daily, I do want to say that I’m very grateful to you for this site, and if it would continue that would be great. We really don’t want to put too much stress on you though.

    In conclusion, thanks for an amazing two years of TAJ, I hope the best for you and all other members. Seeya later- SirJML🐨

      • Thanks SirJML! Believe it or not, your comment made me cry. Teen Authors Journal was the same for me. A place where I could be longer and have a purpose, and it’s crazy to think that so many others have felt the same way!

        I will keep you updated on the future of TAJ. But for now, thank you so much for your support. It is a pleasure having you here.


  • Whatever you decide is up to you but I know I speak for everyone when I say how incredibly grateful I am for this website and all the friends I have made from it. Though I may not be the most active user I have still learnt and grown so much from reading other people’s posts and sometimes writing my own. This website has helped me ease myself into the role of being a teen author and once again I am so grateful for everything you’ve done for this community!

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