I’m Still Here, He’s All Gone

Sometime next week, this blog will hit its 13th anniversary.

I’ve told the story, of course, many times; when I started this blog, I was inspired by reading Andrew Sullivan’s site. Along with James Lileks, it was Sullivan that I went to to see how this new form of writing was supposed to be done. Back when bloggers kept track of these things, I called him my “blogfather”.

But after 15 years, Sullivan is hanging it up:

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’ve gotten some of the same urges, myself; not burn out – although that certainly happens, from time to time. Working through that has been a zen like exercise in self discipline, on the occasions – roughly every two years – when it happens.

But the urge to do things smaller, slower, older and more deliberate is certainly there.

3 thoughts on “I’m Still Here, He’s All Gone

  1. Andrew Sullivan ran out of interesting things to say years ago. I much preferred the other A. Sullivan — Alan Sullivan — until his death from lymphoma a few years ago.
    Alan was introspective. Unlike the other A. Sullivan, Alan loved language and the craft of writing, especially poetry, more than the sound of his own voice.
    Alan’s partner, the poet Timothy Murphy, is still around and publishing.

  2. Oh, I got tired of Sullivan not long after I started blogging. By the time he went full-blown Trigger, I hadn’t read him in years.

    But Sullivan was, literally, my sole influence through my first couple of weeks of blogging.

  3. For the record, I never quit blogging. My free host just disappeared. I can still access the back end and all my archives, but the front end is POOF. The mu.nu provider still supports Ace.mu.nu.

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