|The husband and me with Andrew Sullivan at a fundraiser|
Out gay blogger Andrew Sullivan - who I have had the privilege of meeting - has announced that he will be leaving blogging in due course. Some days Andrew outrages me, especially with his refusal to face the reality that the Roman Catholic Church is systemically flawed and his opposition to hate crimes laws, but other times he amazingly sums up a situation in prose that I can only wish I could author. In a post today, he summarizes the reasons behind his decision. Here are excerpts:
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 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 completely understand the burn out aspect Andrew describes. Likewise, my husband can understand the "blog-widow" statement since, even though I blog at nowhere the level of Andrew, each day, more or less 365 days per year, I spend numerous hours scanning the news and stories and then writing posts. Oh, and the hunt for daily "male beauties" likewise can be time consuming since I strive to never disappoint.
Will I follow Andrew's example and end the blog? I really don't know. It is hard to describe, but over the last almost seven years of daily blogging, I have made amazing connections with people literally from all over the world including Europe, Australia, across the USA and most recently a reader in Ghana. The other aspect of blogging is that it can be a great way to vent as some of my truly long time readers can recall from the dark days of my coming out, suicide attempts and an unpleasant divorce. If and when I decide to stop blogging, I will let readers know. The other option is to take on some co-contributors, as
When The Dish ends, it will join another former favorite, Pam's House Blend, which ended when blogger friend Pam Spaulding finally burned out. I wish Andrew the best and I hope he can finally come to terms with his inability to walk away from the Catholic Church.