One of my big influencers in blogging has decided to quit after 15 years.
One of the things Iâ€™ve always tried to do at the Dish is to be up-front with readers. This sometimes means grotesque over-sharing; sometimes it means I write imprudent arguments I have to withdraw; sometimes it just means a monthly update on our revenues and subscriptions; and sometimes I stumble onto something actually interesting. But when you write every day for readers for years and years, as Iâ€™ve done, thereâ€™s not much left to hide. And thatâ€™s why, before our annual auto-renewals, I want to let you know Iâ€™ve decided to stop blogging in the near future.
Why? Two reasons. The first is one I hope anyone can understand: although it has been the most rewarding experience in my writing career, Iâ€™ve now been blogging daily for fifteen years straight (well kinda straight). Thatâ€™s long enough to do any single job. In some ways, itâ€™s as simple as that. There comes a time when you have to move on to new things, shake your world up, or recognize before you crash that burn-out does happen.
The second is that I am saturated in digital life and I want to return to the actual world again. Iâ€™m a human being before I am a writer; and a writer before I am a blogger, and although itâ€™s been a joy and a privilege to have helped pioneer a genuinely new form of writing, I yearn for other, older forms. I want to read again, slowly, carefully. I want to absorb a difficult book and walk around in my own thoughts with it for a while. I want to have an idea and let it slowly take shape, rather than be instantly blogged. I want to write long essays that can answer more deeply and subtly the many questions that the Dish years have presented to me. I want to write a book.
I want to spend some real time with my parents, while I still have them, with my husband, who is too often a â€˜blog-widowâ€™, my sister and brother, my niece and nephews, and rekindle the friendships that I have simply had to let wither because Iâ€™m always tied to the blog. And I want to stay healthy. Iâ€™ve had increasing health challenges these past few years. Theyâ€™re not HIV-related; my doctor tells me theyâ€™re simply a result of fifteen years of daily, hourly, always-on-deadline stress. These past few weeks were particularly rough â€“ and finally forced me to get real.