When to quit blogging
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.