I would like to thank everyone who did vote for me and who had picked me as a favorite to win, as well as everyone who just enjoyed my entries over the past eight million years since the competition started. I had a lot of fun making them, and I will tell everyone that I got what I wanted out of participating. I dropped out because I decided it was the right thing to do, and I think it was a positive choice for myself and for my fellow participants.
So why did I leave?
1) I'm not that competitive.
I didn't enter LJ Idol to win. I entered it to make friends and to have fun prompts to use to help challenge myself to make comics.
I know a lot of people say they didn't enter to win, but I really mean that. The best way I can show that is by not taking the pleasure of winning away from someone who really wants to.
We're getting down to the part of the competition where winning is important. And I know there are some people who did enter with the hope of winning. I'm just not one of them. I'm really flattered that so many people love my stuff, but I think that there are a number of other people involved in Idol who will get a lot more out of winning than I will. I mean, I don't even like the idea of putting a banner in my userinfo or having my name in the sidebar of the community! Silly, I know, but it would be a waste for me to win.
So, yeah, it's not why I signed up, and it doesn't really interest me to win. Is it lovely to think many people would choose me as a favorite? Yep! But I've gotten enough praise and good thoughts and positive feedback from participating already. Somebody else should win.
2) It's more interesting this way.
Most weeks, I'm in one of the top three spots in the poll. Many weeks, I am in first place. It's really nice and all, but I think the competition will be more fun if things get shaken up a little bit. This is a good way to do that. Being at the top of the poll for so many weeks, especially weeks when I didn't ask my friendslist for help, is lovely and in some ways is more gratifying to me than winning a single poll.
3) I entered to have fun.
And the pace, duration, and quantity of content required for the competition is less fun for me at this point. I would rather spend my time NOT wondering how the heck I will get two or three or four entries done in a week. I like things like going to barbecues and making ice cream and...oh shit, okay, everything I like involves food.
4) This game wasn't really designed for comics.
I'm not saying comics haven't been welcome in the game. I think they have been very welcomed-- everyone has been so supportive of my comics, it's incredible, especially when it comes from people who aren't comic fans. But it wasn't designed for comics, and the closer we got to the end, the clearer it became that the amount of work required was going to be too much for me to balance with the rest of my life. Sure, I could do it, but I would rather choose to have my time to spend the way I wish. I discussed my peculiar position in the contest at length with Gary and I decided that while I didn't expect him to completely change the game around for just one player when drawing comics was something I chose to do voluntarily, and it would make it a heck of a lot easier on him to know he didn't have to worry that anything he was doing was hurting one player more than the others. It was a great experiment and I think that it is pretty good proof that someone with significantly more free time (and, say, no friends, family, or dishes to wash) could win LJ Idol by exclusively drawing comics.
5) I get to do something nice for someone else this way.
Gary tells me that if I drop out during the poll, someone else gets to stay in. That is kind of awesome. The way I see it, I would hate to get to a point where I *can't* finish the required entries for the week and *have* to drop out, and took a spot that could have gone to someone else at that point. So rather than playing till I just couldn't play anymore, I decided it would be better to bow out with a little foresight and make sure I'm not taking someone else's spot.
I should also explain that Gary made me make a list, in order, of who would be saved, before the polls close. This made it really hard because I had to rank everyone. And I created a little ranking system that might not be perfect but made it easier for me. So I didn't know when I made the list who would be saved and who wouldn't. I apologize to alexpgp for not saving you this week; you have seriously been one of my favorite writers in the competition and I love your stories to death. The two people who were facing elimination were literally ONE SPOT away from each other on the list I sent Gary; that is how close it was.
It's funny, because today, the polls were very close. And it made me feel very at peace with the whole thing, knowing that no matter what, I would be leaving. And yes, I knew I was leaving before I posted asking for votes. I just felt like I should act like it was any other week right until the end. I also wanted to make sure this was a surprise!
I want to make one more statement before closing this out: I may or may not participate in the Home Game depending on whether my own projects fit the topics. However, if anyone is interested in working on a short comic with me (the length of the Idol ones) or would like me to draw anything for subsequent Idol entries (like, one picture), feel free to ask. Depending on timing, I'd be happy to play with all of you!