Saturday, July 16, 2016

Listen to YOUR Voice: The ‘End’ of Blogging

Ever since the shooting on 12 June 2016 at Pulse, a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, I’ve had difficulty penning a blog post. I’ve sat down to write one many times, but I didn’t know what to say. Actually, I knew what I wanted to say. I wasn’t sure I had the courage to say it, to admit it to myself. Now I do.

Tel Aviv. Orlando. Paris. Brussels. Baton Rouge. Falcon Heights. Dallas. And now Nice, France. These are but a few cities around the world where lives have been taken so senselessly. We live in a time when hate and intolerance are on the rise. We live in a time when love and understanding have been sidelined. We see only the differences that separate us and not the ties that bind us together. We live in a time of selfishness, where it is ‘I’ before all else. Whatever happened to “love thy neighbour as thyself?”

We live in a time of violence. A peaceful protest turns into chaos as bullets rain down overhead from a sniper’s weapon. Gathering together at church to pray, worshippers are killed by a man filled with hate. On an evening that should have been about celebrating a nation’s history with pride, a truck plows into the crowd, the driver then opening fire. So many lives senselessly taken away because of hate and intolerance and ignorance. And the question still lingers: Why? We live in a time when it seems that the very risk is in leaving the house in the morning, never knowing what may or may not happen.

We are a people walking with our heads down. I see it everywhere I go — London, Halifax, Frankfurt, Zurich, Montreal, Los Angeles. Hypnotized by our mobile devices, we cannot lookup from our cell phones as we walk down the street — oblivious to our surroundings. Do we even care about what’s happening around us? We can’t seem to get through a meal without picking up our phones. The ping of a new message sends us scrambling, like we’re afraid we’ll miss out on something. Are we no longer able to be mindfully present in the moment?

I’m a runner. When I first started running in 2008, I was living in Ottawa. In that city, and later when I moved to Sherbrooke, Quebec, there seemed to be a camaraderie among runners. Out on the trails, 95 percent of runners gave the runner’s wave as we passed each other. Now I live in Toronto. At least three times a week I run along the Goodman Trail. I can count on two hands the number of times, over the past three years, I’ve exchanged the runner’s wave with others. With music streaming into our earphones, when only tuned into ourselves, it’s like we’re running with blinders on. Lately, I’ve been spending more time in Port Colborne, visiting my mother-in-law. When I go out for a run, or when I walk my mother-in-law’s dog, I get a “Hello” or “Good Morning” from everyone I meet. There’s a spirit of community, a sense of connectedness.

I feel like, on some level, we are at risk of losing our humanity. We have made so many advances when it comes to science and technology. Smartphones. Driverless cars. Apps for almost every whim and desire.  Successful hand transplants. Probes orbiting Jupiter. Yet through all the years of wars and suffering we’ve inflicted on other — and continue to do so — it seems like we have not learned anything from our past. When it comes to how we treat each other, it’s as though, on many levels, we’ve regressed. Can we learn from our collective history? Can we learn to love and treat each other with respect?

My honest answer? I’m not sure.

What is this all leading to? This. The events particularly over the past few months, but also those that have occurred over the last couple of years, have reminded me of this: Life is short. That is why we must make the best of this journey. We must do what we love, be true to ourselves so that we can be the best we can be. We must make time in our lives for what it is we love, for the people we love, for what matters most.

Focusing on what matters most, this will be the last post for my blog, An Unscripted Life of Words.

I’m a writer. I love to write. I’m currently at work on two novels and a couple of short stories. Those forms of writing are what I’m passionate about. Since I started blogging in 2010, I’ve written 244 blog posts (including this one). I kept at it, not necessarily out of a great love for blogging, but because it’s what all the “experts” say you have to do to succeed as a writer. We’re told we have to be on this platform or that, we have to do certain things on one social media site and not on another. Now I’m changing the rules. If I’m going to succeed, I have to focus on what I love. That’s not blogging, which for me has become a chore — not something I’ve enjoyed lately and have succeeded at putting off.

This blog has been about my creative journey as a writer. I think it also became a bit more than that. I’ve written about the joys of success (having my short stories and first novel published) and the disappointments (rejection, procrastination and doubt). But I am grateful for everyone who has been a part of my journey — those who have been around since the beginning and those who have stopped by along the way. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

I hope that you’ll check in from time to time. I’m active on Twitter (@MMarcusALopes), and would love for you to join me for #TwitterFictionTuesdays. You can also find me on Facebook ( I’ll be using those platforms to, on a semi-regular basis, continue this conversation on the writing life. I also love to cook, and you can check out my creativity in the kitchen on Instagram (mmarcusalopes).

Be well. Let us treat each other with respect and dignity. Love yourself. Love each other. Be kind. Make this life count.

Do what you love. Love what you do. Follow your own true path.

Be true. be real. Be yourself.

Wishing you peace and love!



  1. I have enjoyed your blogging journey. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  2. Please don't stop blogging. I hope you gain the will to keep going