For those of you who haven’t already heard, Andrew Sullivan is leaving blogging.
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.
As Ezra Klein of Vox noted, Sullivan’s departure from blogging has given rise to “blogging is dead” columns, but like Klein I don’t believe that blogging as a means of sharing ideas is dead. I know I’m biased given the fact that I run a blog or two, but I absolutely believe that despite the “instant gratification” of social media like Twitter, Snapchat, and Vine and the ubiquitousness of Facebook, there’s still a place for dialogue, discussion, and a sense of community, and that’s why I believe blogs are far from dead. As I’ve written before, I know Blogging Blue is far from a perfect community, but we’re still a community, even more so than Blogging Blue’s presence on Facebook.
Andrew Sullivan’s decision to leave blogging is certainly a loss for the blogosphere, but I know blogging will persist as a means of sharing information and discussing ideas.