The Long Distance Blogger Goes Off-Grid


Like Josh and TPM, I now have only vague memories of the beginning of the Daily Dish. It began some time in the spring of 2000. I remember following the Condit affair with some passion and then the Gore-Bush party conventions. So I am now officially in my tenth year of daily blogging. The pace then was a dawdle compared to today, and although I now have two of the sharpest webster minds out there helping me - Chris and Patrick - it's grueling month after month being responsible for up to 300 posts a week. In the first few years, I always took all of August off in European fashion. Then I gave in to commercial and competitive pressure and went at it all year with only short breaks. The result, I'm afraid, is a risk of burn-out, as so many other bloggers have discovered.

I have every intention of burning on, not out, so while the Dish will continue aggressively covering the world with guest-bloggers and Chris and Patrick, and I'll be contributing some photo-blogging from the Cape and maybe a few notes from the books I'm reading, I'm taking the rest of August off to go off-grid entirely. I'll be checking personal emails, but I'm honestly trying not to read the web till Labor Day. God knows how successful I'll be, but living all the time in this stream of media consciousness is something human beings haven't much experience with. A little break is only prudent. No computer algorithm fills this blog. It all starts out somewhere and at some point is filtered through my frontal cortex, and that cortex can begin to feel like a bit in a drill after a while.

Here's my dream: I'll read books - books on paper, books I have been wanting to read (or re-read) for a long time and have been unable to absorb because of constant daily bloggery; and I'll sleep and nap; and spend time with my neglected husband and beagles; and try to get a little more perspective on the last couple of years. The spiritual life also suffers from living so much in the world so constantly. A little emptiness is what I yearn for.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining, and I'm not as down as I was a couple of weeks' back.

In this economy, a rewarding lucrative job is a miracle. And the evolving, dynamic media revolution at a time of global transformation has made my "work", in a word, exhilarating. We have great plans for the Dish ahead, and this year so far has broken every previous record for readership. But if you want to stay human, you need to take a breather at least once a year.

Tomorrow morning, Bob Wright will be back alongside Chris and Patrick. Bob's book just leapt up the NYT Bestseller list. And there will be more star guest-bloggers in the month ahead. The Dish will be very much al dente all August, so don't adjust your set.

See you soon. And have a beautiful summer. It has turned spectacular here on the Cape. The light has returned, along with warmth. We only have so many summers in our lives - and I've now had more than I ever expected. Which makes every one a little more precious. Carpe.