When it comes to professional blogging, there aren’t many around who have had the kind of longevity or success that Andrew Sullivan has: after starting with his own blog in 2000, the political commentator moved to Time, then The Atlantic, then The Daily Beast, and finally launched his own crowdfunded site, which ultimately raised close to $1 million. But now, Sullivan says he is going to stop blogging and try to spend more time with his family and friends, in part because of the toll he says daily blogging has taken.
In a note at The Daily Dish, Sullivan — who is 51 and has dealt with HIV and other health -related issues in the past — says he arrived at this decision because he has had enough of the daily grind of blogging after 15 years, and wants to spend more time reading (and writing) books, and other pursuits that don’t really mesh with a full-time blogging career, including spending time with his husband of eight years, and his parents:
— Adam Sternbergh (@sternbergh) January 28, 2015
The non-stop blogging lifestyle has turned his husband into a “blog widow,” Sullivan says in his post, and has also had health effects — although he says those aren’t necessarily related to HIV, which he has been dealing with since 2000, but are more just a result of getting older and the stress of always-on digital deadlines. “These past few weeks were particularly rough – and finally forced me to get real,” he says.
The blogging lifestyle
Sullivan is not the first to suffer from the health effects of blogging and the stress of running a startup based in large part on a blog: Gigaom’s founder, my friend Om Malik, had a heart attack in 2007 that he has said was at least partly a result of an always-on lifestyle and the stress of building a company. Last year, he withdrew from full-time writing to focus on being a partner at True Ventures (although he has continued writing at his personal blog and on a new site he started called Pi.co, where he posts interviews with interesting people).
Andrew Sullivan started in the days when old people would ask, "What's a blog?" and ends in the days when young people ask, "What's a blog?"
— Daniel Radosh (@danielradosh) January 28, 2015
It wasn’t immediately clear what Sullivan’s decision will mean for the future of the Daily Dish website, which has more than 30,000 paying subscribers contributing close to $1 million in revenue a year — a successful paywall/crowdfunding model that makes the blogger and his small team fairly unique in the new-media landscape. All he said in his post was that:
While not everyone was choked up to hear that Sullivan won’t be blogging any more — some of his political views and his occasionally argumentative tone have not sat well with many readers over the years — there were also many messages posted to Twitter and elsewhere that talked about his impact on the political blogosphere and on the larger world of online writing as a whole, and how many of his readers will miss him. And then there are those who don’t believe (or don’t want to believe) that he is stepping away for good:
Phase 1. We'll miss the Dish Phase 2: backlash about the Dish's whiteness and neocon-ness Phase 3. do it all again next time
— Kevin Glass (@KevinWGlass) January 28, 2015
Cheers to Andrew Sullivan for kicking a nasty addiction http://t.co/NXKmZk9ztK
— Jason Kottke (@jkottke) January 28, 2015
I echo what so many have said. Andrew Sullivan is a true pioneer of the new media and will be missed. http://t.co/YwKrM10ihs
— Patrick Ruffini (@PatrickRuffini) January 28, 2015
Love him or hate him, Andrew Sullivan helped create the world we work in. Weird to see him go. http://t.co/XLuSEW8aCj
— David Weiner (@daweiner) January 28, 2015