Firstly, I'd like to say thanks to Katie for starting this! I think it's a wonderful idea and I hope Nick knows how much this place has meant to so many of us. I think I'll look through the other entries when I'm ready to say goodbye (which is to say not right now, because I am so not ready).
It's hard for me to even think back far enough to recall the first time I was on this site, six years ago, but I have countless memories of spending so much (some might argue too much) time here. The projects that started here, the wonderful, diverse people I met, befriended, and wrote with, the amazing works I've read here. Some of those relationships are still hugely important in my life and I will always remember that they began here. Many of those stories that began here are also big parts of my life to this day. The way I used to think about stories compared to the way I view them now is completely different, and that, too, is thanks to this website.
Just trying to think of all the things I learned is overwhelming. There are too many lessons this place has taught me that are difficult to articulate. Too many people I grew to know and wrote alongside to name. Too many magnificent works I read to list.
Even as much as all of that is to me, as deep of an imprint on who I am now that it's all had, it's not even the tip of the iceberg as to what this place has offered me - offered to all of us, really. The experience and creativity and atmosphere all shaped who I am now and the way I write, in addition to the way I interact with other creatives. It was here that I first realized we aren't in competition with each other; that we can all achieve our writing goals without any of them being diminished when someone else accomplishes theirs.
I will be eternally grateful for everything I experienced, learned, read, and wrote here. My only regret is that I didn't upgrade my membership and help keep this place going when I had the chance. For that, I am sorry.
Thank you, Nick, and Protagonize, and everyone on here - I hope we all meet again somewhere in this great wide web. For now, may you always have the inspiration to write and may you never stop learning.
I, truly, will miss you deeply. (I really don't want to say goodbye.)