Andrew Sullivan decides to quit blogging

One of my big influencers in blogging has decided to quit after 15 years.

One of the things I’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 I’ve done, there’s not much left to hide. And that’s why, before our annual auto-renewals, I want to let you know I’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, I’ve now been blogging daily for fifteen years straight (well kinda straight). That’s long enough to do any single job. In some ways, it’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. I’m a human being before I am a writer; and a writer before I am a blogger, and although it’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 ‘blog-widow’, my sister and brother, my niece and nephews, and rekindle the friendships that I have simply had to let wither because I’m always tied to the blog. And I want to stay healthy. I’ve had increasing health challenges these past few years. They’re not HIV-related; my doctor tells me they’re simply a result of fifteen years of daily, hourly, always-on-deadline stress. These past few weeks were particularly rough – and finally forced me to get real.

I can really understand the space he has got himself into.

Blogging, contrary to what some say is actually very, very difficult, and as you climb up the rankings and gather an audience the pressures build even more.

My blogging efforts will turn ten years old this year. I haven’t yet turned my mind to organising an event, and quite simply it is because I just don’t have the time to do it.

But what Andrew Sullivan says is true…as a blogger you are always on, there is never a break, the rush of blogging never stops even when you are out hunting, or fishing…the desire to connect and see what is happening is strong.

But even in the depths of Dirty Politics I never have wanted to quit. There are some aspects of what I do that I am contemplating quitting, simply because I don’t enjoy them anymore, or the challenge of it has gone. I will inform those people who will be affected in due course.

I have some big challenges this year, some exciting new ventures that I want to get just right before launching them, and I have a few points to prove in the media space. I really want to launch those now, but discretion is the better part of valour and so patience and planning will prevent piss poor execution of those plans. I ask for patience from readers on that front, when it comes it will be worth it.

But Andrew Sullivan does address something that I need to be looking at and that is burn out…I’ve come close a couple of times…and I look to Art, Travel and Lifestyle blogger David Farrar for some inspiration there. He has found the time to take some breaks…perhaps I need to do that too…except I won’t be shooting pictures of where I’ve been I’ll be shooting animals.

It is true that at times, like Sullivan, I have made my best friend, and loving wife a blog widow. That is something we have moved to address and one of those actions was moving to a new location that is restful, peaceful and filled with love and happiness rather than the misery that we have both lived through the last 7 years or so. So far it is paying dividends. We have more balance back in our lives.

Andrew Sullivan has been a big influence on my blogging even though I don’t agree with him in many respects, the thing is he built a strong loyal audience with his diligence and his forthright honesty about his life. I too have shared many aspects of my life, some of which is held against me, especially my battles with depression, but I wouldn’t ever do anything different. Some of these issues require strong voices.

For me Andrew Sullivan quitting blogging will leave a big hole…but life goes on and so does blogging.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.