Monday, April 21, 2014

Hey Junkies! Where Ya Been???


LOL!  Good Question!  One I've been asked many times over the past several months... And I'm not sure I've had a good answer for you until now.  For those of you who thought we disappeared off the planet - My apologies.  Truth is, we've had to do some searching to uncover answers for our absence the past many months... In the end, here are three thoughts that are therapeutic to my soul and offer a few explanations...

1. Burn Out.  Within 9 months (Jan 2013 - Sept 2013), we crowned 2 Miss Americas, Junkies posted predictions on all 53 state pageants, maintained a Blog, Facebook page and Twitter feed, PLUS we traveled to both Vegas AND Atlantic City to see Mallory and Nina be crowned live.  Truth is, if this were my full time job, I could understand seasons where everything seems overwhelming... But unfortunately, I don't get paid for this gig (at least not yet!).  This is my hobby.  And I gave a lot of time, effort and energy to my hobby in a short period of time.

2.  New Job in Real Life.  After spending 15 years building my career in the same industry, I took a new position that stretched me professionally.  Doing so has meant I haven't had as much time for my hobby - and much of my energies have gone into my new position rather than into eating, sleeping and drinking Miss America Junkies all day, every day. :)

3.  Goal Achieved.  You may be asking yourself, "Goal Achieved?  What does that even mean?"  Well - if you go back through the archives of this blog, you'll find something I write over and over again.  One of the reasons I started Miss America Junkies is because I wanted to help 'change the tone' I was hearing from online pageant people.  Years ago (before social media went crazy), information regarding Miss America contestants was super difficult to find.  Even less than 5 years ago, I remember staying up into the wee hours of the night, just to find out who were the winners at our own Miss America preliminary!   There were only 2 or 3 independent websites dedicated to pageants, and very few states had their own Facebook pages - let alone updated websites with contestant information.  Conversely, young women were online in droves - which made the information gap larger than ever!  So what happened?  Well, that void of information was filled with online message boards.  A fine idea initially, until it brought out the worst in pageant followers.  Soon, all I began to see was negativity and bad-mouthing from a bunch of anonymous posters.  That's why it became my goal to bring faster, more positive attention to titleholders WITHOUT the ugly judgement that often came alongside pageant commentary.  I just thought you could still have fun, provide information quickly, and still 'be bold' in predictions without being nasty.

Since The Junkies' inception, some wonderful things have happened... First, more and more 'positive' blog and facebook groups have come into play and are gaining steam!  Miss America Class Updates and Miss America Unlimited have wonderful Facebook pages to keep fans informed (check 'em out!).  I'm floored at how many people 'live tweet' now from various state competitions - let alone Miss America!  It's a HUGE change from 5 short years ago and it's made a big difference!  In addition, because of our travels to numerous state pageants, Vegas and AC, The Junkies have personally met countless contestants and volunteers who have been quick to offer support of our philosophy and encouraged us with their positive feedback.  It seems YOU CAN have fun, make predictions and enjoy competition without being ugly.

Here's the deal... My goal was to change the tone of the internet regarding Miss America contestants.  I think that's happened.  It's not over - and we certainly aren't claiming we did it all by ourselves - but overall, I believe our involvement has helped facilitate some good things in pageant-land.  And that - is extremely rewarding. :)

So - where does that leave us now?  Well... here's what I know...

1.  We WILL be posting our beloved "Here's Who to Watch" blogs on each and every state - starting THIS WEEKEND with Miss Vermont! :)  It's a crazy under-taking, but we're committed to getting it done :)

2.  We're still considering state pageants to attend this summer... As you can imagine, traveling to these events is another large under-taking, and requires a lot of coordination from the 'real-job' and the home front.  We promise to keep each of you informed as we work towards our summer schedule.

3.  Set new goals.  I'm not quite sure exactly what this looks like just yet - but I'm excited about what the future holds!  As we grow, we'll be sure to include you on all the latest information in the land of MAJ... Again, we're so appreciative of those who have been a part of our journey thus far and we look forward to where we go from here!

In the meantime, WE STILL LOVE HEARING FROM YOU!  Whether it's interacting via Facebook, Twitter or this blog, The Junkies have developed some incredible real-life friendships and wonderful on-line relationships with people we would've never met otherwise - and we're super grateful for it!  THANK YOU for the things you do to promote The Junkies to your family, friends or people who are new to the world of pageantry.  That's how we continue to 'spread the word' of positive pageant commentary and continue to accomplish our original goal.

STAY TUNED for the MISS VERMONT blog coming up this week - and the MISS NEW HAMPSHIRE blog coming up next week!  It's about to get CRAZY!!!



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