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Jan. 21 2010 - 9:37 am | 404 views | 0 recommendations | 36 comments

When to quit blogging

70/365: today i quit smoking

Probably about as easy as quitting these. (Image by isabel bloedwater via Flickr)

I started blogging in 2006. We called it WorkInProgress — the topic was work-slash-life — and it was one of Time.com’s founding blogs. It began as a way for me to publish every day; as a staff writer at Time magazine, you get used to hoping for one byline in print every few weeks. It quickly became what I considered my community, one I secretly liked better than my flesh-and-blood colleagues.

When I quit Time a year ago, the only thing I wanted to take with me was the blog. I wanted to keep the community of commenters, the lively discussion, the ability to vent on stuff I cared about. I didn’t want to keep the politics and the management bullshit of the workplace. So I joined True/Slant.

It’s been a year now since I launched Wasabi Mama. I got to stretch my wings as a blogger on topics like race and media and sex. Two of my top posts are about boobs. Go figure. Also I got to use words like “retard,” which it turns out makes a lot of people really mad. And I never once got hauled into an editor’s office telling me that someone upstairs would like me to tone it the hell down.

As a writer, I remain a big booster of blogging. (And alliteration.) Like keeping a journal, blogging forces you to write every day. Unlike journals, though, blogs are read by people other than you and your nosy sister. If you’re a writer, you should aim to publish. And blogging is publishing.

I also remain a huge fan of True/Slant. One thing you might not get as a reader is the sense of community among the bloggers. (There — I’ve used the word three times now in this post. It’s important to me, see?) They’re as varied as Caitlyn Kelly of Broadside, Fran Johns of Boomers and Beyond and Paul Raeburn of Family Matters. We read each other’s posts, post comments, e-mail with thoughts and encouragement. Does HuffPo do that? I think not.

Here’s the thing about blogging: it requires constant tending, and as with that orchid plant that now lives in my bathroom, I’m not doing such a good job.

The reason is the same one that got me to True/Slant in the first place: I quit my career as a journalist to pursue one as a fiction/screenwriter. It’s been a year now since my Act Two began. And I need to get to the freaking climax.

I’m not quitting on Wasabi Mama. But I am taking a blog break. I need to stop dicking around and focus on writing something that has a chance of keeping my fridge free of government cheese. My family — and my freedom from ever dealing with management bullshit again — depends upon it.

So sayonara for now. I’ll drop in now and again if I’ve got something worthwhile to say. I hope you’ll keep me on your RSS reader or Twitter or e-mail feed. Here’s to a fierce and toothsome year of the tiger, for you and me both.


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5 T/S Member Comments Called Out, 36 Total Comments
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  1. collapse expand

    I’ll miss your musings, Lisa, and wish you weren’t going, but I understand. Best of luck with your screenplay. Fingers crossed there’s no government cheese in your future.

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    Hi Lisa,

    I will miss reading your posts, but you have to do what you have to do to keep your family and second act on track.
    I hope you write a kick-ass screenplay that makes it to the big screen in my neighborhood.
    Good luck and bet wishes!

  3. collapse expand

    Hey, remember us when you’re famous! And please post an update on the progress of Act II now and then. Best of luck with it.

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    And, coming from somebody who posts occasionally for HuffPo, you’re right about the unique sense of community on True/Slant. HuffPo doesn’t have it.

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    I’ll miss your blogging Lisa. I’ve been following you during WIP and now on T/S. Good luck!

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    Sometimes real life just gets in the way of our online lives… best of luck with your real world project. We do all have real world roofs to keep over our very real heads and very real mouths to feed at home. Blogs can wait!

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    I have enjoyed reading your blog since the days of Time. You have a wonderful style to your blogs that I truly enjoy reading. I hope all is well in your endeavors and I look forward to your return.

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    Ms. Cullen: Best of luck in your endeavours. Please know that your writing has consistently added a refreshing, confident, and at times, controversial, voice to the proceedings. Godspeed!

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    Good luck, Lisa. It’s been fun reading you.

  10. collapse expand

    Good luck, Lisa! I’ve really enjoyed your posts and know I will love whatever movie/book/TV project that lies ahead.

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    Now where will I send my links to studies of dubious veracity?

  12. collapse expand

    I agree, the sense of community here is great, and you’ve been a part of that. Will miss your writing…Best of luck with the new venture.

    Give us a shout-out at the Oscars, willya?

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    Is it okay for me to gloat (a little) about the fact that we got you to use twitter? After all, I still remember your Why I refuse to use Twitter post and now look at you, all twitterific.

  14. collapse expand

    Sorry to see you go…I’ve enjoyed your blogs. How can we follow you on Twitter? Haven’t been able to find you on there.

    Good luck on your new venture & we hope to hear from you in the future!

  15. collapse expand

    Good Luck Lisa! I’m looking forward to your return at some point.

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    All the best in the future! Please don’t forget about us :)

  17. collapse expand

    oh, bummer, I missed you so much when you left Time until I managed to figure out you were here! Best of luck, I look forward to your return!

  18. collapse expand

    Hello Lisa,

    Late to the party and the news :( This is the second time you’ve left us! Just kidding, good luck making the dough and getting your name up there in lights! I’ve enjoyed reading your writing.


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    About Me

    Read Wasabi Mama for your daily dose of sinus-clearing rant on parenting, work, media and entertainment. If you like a fresh nasal passage, please click below my photo to "follow me." For more on me, please visit www.lisacullen.com.

    See my profile »
    Followers: 192
    Contributor Since: January 2009
    Location:New Jersey